The Desert Review Article 10-17-16 ### Boys and Girls Clubs of Imperial Valley Celebrates 50 Years

Jeff Klicka is the 2016 Eunice Fleming Service Award winner.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Imperial Valley Celebrates 50 Years

BRAWLEY — The Boys and Girls Clubs of Imperial Valley (BGCIV) celebrated its 50th year anniversary with a combo auction at the Stockmen’s Club Saturday evening in Brawley.

The auction was sold out two weeks before the event, leaving many potential attendees on a waiting list, just in case someone cancelled at the last minute.

Larry Fleming auctioned the shirt off his back

Twenty-eight items were auctioned off to the highest bidder, including trips, concerts, dinners, and jewelry. One of the highlights of the evening occurred when Larry Fleming, the Master of Ceremonies, auctioned off his shirt.

Misty Lee, newly appointed executive director of the BGCIV as of October 1, said she was thankful for the response of the supporters and sponsors of the event.

“The committee had a goal of raising $150,000 and we hit it,” said Lee. “I am overwhelmed by the support that everyone and our sponsors give to this club. It really goes to show how much this community pulls together to support our youth. It’s really amazing. It makes me so proud to be a part of it. I’m thankful for all of the work and sacrifices that volunteers, board, staff, and committee put into this event. It was an amazing night.”

Jeff Klicka was honored with the 2016 Eunice Fleming Service award for his contributions to the BGCIV. Klicka, a past BGCIV board member, is with Klicka Parker Insurance and is also board president of the Pioneers Memorial Hospital Health District.

“I was not even expecting this,” said Klicka. “I am honored to receive this recognition. The Boys and Girls Clubs do great things here in the Valley. It’s all about the kids.”

Platinum sponsors of the event included Union Bank, Rockwood Chemical, Imperial Farming, KC Welding and Rentals, Wingate Company, and National Beef, who also provided the steaks for the evening’s meal.

Gold sponsors were Five Crowns Marketing, Mark Osterkamp Ranches, RB Wilson Company, Sun Community, Jordan Central Implement, Rubin Seeds, Wells Fargo Bank, and Vail Ranches.

Silver sponsors included Ametza, Coni Stokely Insurance, Swain & Kennerson, Benson Farms, RDF Express, Empire-Cat, Gibi Trucking, LLC, Community Valley Bank, Klicka-Parker Insurance, Gary Mamer Farms, Terri & Les Rogers, Vessey and Company, Imperial Tarp & Covers, Inc., Stephen Elmore Company, RDO Water, and Imperial Premix LLC.

All of the money raised will stay in the Valley, according to Lee.

“Another special moment of the evening was when the guests were given the opportunity to sponsor a child,” said Lee. “It takes about $500 to sponsor a Club kid for one year. One person lifted up the card provided on each table. Thirty-two more people lifted up their donation cards. The donors get no prize for this. They just wanted to support. It was so wonderful.”

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Imperial Valley offers a comprehensive after-school program for youth guidence, enabling kids ages six through 18, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, caring citizens, according to the group’s website.

To find out more about the Boys and Girls Clubs, call 760-344-2040, or visit the website at