Boys & Girls Clubs’ Community Impact Strengthened by Dancing for the Stars Event
by Clarissa Robertson
Over the past decades our local Boys & Girls Clubs have transformed to best serve the needs of the growing community. As an accessible resource, the Clubs’ impact has meaningfully increased. Its roots within the community have strengthened.
The Clubs’ Strategic Plan for 2021-2026 is based on our vision: “Recognizing Greatness in Every Club Member.” It includes programming excellence, enhancing community partnerships, building exceptional infrastructure, as well as growth and sustainability.
One vehicle for achieving those things: Dancing for the Stars, the major fundraiser of the year, which has grown to raise a significant portion of the nonprofit’s annual budget. The event consists of an exciting dance competition where local celebrities are paired with professional dancers to perform a wide variety of dances.
Dancers are committed to the success of our youth, by learning a dance routine with the noble mission of raising money to support our programs. Proceeds stay local and impact hundreds of lives in our community. Our sincere gratitude to the amazing dancers who joined Dancing for the Stars and raised critical funds in 2021:
- Celebrity Dancer Leslie Horton and Professional Dancer Zach Leonard
- Celebrity Dancer Luther Kraxberger and Professional Dancer Marina Rogova-O’Brien
- Celebrity Dancer Jen James Martin
- Celebrity Dancer Brendan McDonough and Professional Dancer Dawn Wilson
- Celebrity Dancer Mayor Kell Palguta and Professional Dancer Jamie Procknow
- Celebrity Dancer Mike Nache and Professional Dancer Carie Hughes
- Celebrity Dancer Dr. Lisa Rhine and Professional Dancer Daniel Garcia
- Celebrity Dancer Jess Savoini and Professional Dancer Ron Howard
- Kids Choreographer Lexe Niekamp, Lessons by Lexe Dance Studio
Clubs’ programs are funded by grants, donations, and fundraising events. After-school and summer programs focus on outcomes around academic success, healthy choices, and good character and citizenship. Serving youth ages six to 18 with tools and opportunities to help them develop and thrive, the Clubs also serve the whole family by empowering parents to work outside the home and provide for their children. Throughout the pandemic our Clubs stepped up to serve the local community by increasing hours to offer a full-time program and dedicated schedule to support distance learning.
We also thank all the wonderful community members who supported the Dancing for the Stars fundraising efforts in so many ways. Our community’s generosity provides local families with life-changing opportunities, shaping lives like Mary’s*, a second-generation Club member. Her dad attended to the Club for ten years after moving to the area, and now Mary has the opportunity to grow and build memories in the very same Club. Club alum Dad shared, “What they do for the children impacts more than they know. They might not see it now but 20+ years later is when it happens.”
To learn more about our local Clubs’ impact and programs, visit bgccaz.org, and follow facebook.com/BGCCAZ and instagram.com/BGCCAZ. Additionally, you can visit dancingforthestars.net to stay tuned about Dancing for the Stars.
Dancing for the Stars 2021 teams. Photo Credit: Blushing Cactus Photography