Boys & Girls Clubs Celebrate at Moonlight Over Morocco

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boys-girls-club-camelYes, Virginia, that was a real camel, at The Westin Long Beach, on May 1st greeting guests as they arrived for the 54th Annual Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach Gala. This year’s theme, “Moonlight Over Morocco” was well attended with over 300 guests, and raised an amazing $250,000 to support after school activities for the youth of Long Beach. Alice Rouse served as Honorary Chair for this over-the-top fundraising event.

On Friday, May 1st, over 300 guests were treated to a night of fun and unexpected surprises around every corner. Guests were greeted by a live camel as they arrived. Ravishing Moroccan decor and volunteers dressed in costume welcomed guests at each of the 3 levels of the hotel. The foyer to the ballroom hosted an 8 foot Moroccan skyline ice sculpture martini bar and more animals that set the tone for a night of fun and adventure. The sounds of Citrus College’s Night Shift Band filled the air as guests mingled and bid on an abundant assortment of silent auction items.

New this year and a big hit with guests was the “Grand Bazaar” on the outside terrace. A towering tent, donated by Anza Rentals, decked in beautiful Moroccan theme fabrics and decor was a hot spot for the night. Guests used gold coins to purchase fabulous adornments from bangles and necklaces to belly dancer hip scarves. Activities in the outside tent also included two hookah bars, a henna tattoo artist, and both palm and tarot card readers.

boys-girls-clubA group of Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach youth, ranging in ages from 7-17, kicked the show off with a delightful belly dance routine. While guests dined on an authentic Moroccan dinner prepared by guest chefs Kamal and Youssef Keroles of Babouch Moroccan Restaurant in San Pedro, a group of professional belly dancers took the stage with more entertaining dance numbers.

Kent French, announcer for the Anaheim Ducks, and Michael Shumard were the auctioneers for the event. Always an interesting part of the night, the live auction got guests fired up and opening their wallets wide for the cause. Among the items were “once in a lifetime experiences” and fabulous trips, but the highlight of the live auction was the chance to drive in the 2010 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, which sold for $55,000.

“It was like a theme park for adults,” said President Cheryl Fox, “you can only imagine what’s in store for next year.”

You’ll have to attend to find out.

Seen at the Scene: Incoming President Irv Miller and his wife Karen, Mitch & Alice Rouse, Cheryl & Alan Fox, Larry & Barbara Jackson, Jim & Joanne Zupanovich, Greg & Lori Bombard, Scott Dionne & Bryn Ryan, Chris & Julie Rommel, John & Alice Wallace, Supervisor Don & Julie Knabe, Rocky & Julie Suares, Dan & Pam Munzer, Barbie Barker & Don Litterst, Bruce Weber, Don & Cindy Rodriguez, Michaela Pereira, Carl Kemp, Andy Perez, Dr. Grant & Debbie Uba, Darlene Dameron & Gary Taylor, Marilyn Whitcomb & Sid Britton, Richard & Diane Dilday, Mark & Leigh Latimer, Chris Lewis, Kevin Dykes, Josephine Battiste, Jason Kraynek, Steve & Karole Chesser, Trent & Summer Bryson, Gene & LeAnn Johnson, Steve & Julie McMahon, Jon & Margie Masterson, Bob & Jan Cree, Gill & Linda Dodson, Dr. Larry Drum & JoAnn Merrill, Chris & Lauren Ebner, Edward & Alexis Dericco.

For 70 years, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach have provided after school programs for youth from ages 6 to 18. Offering more than 20 programs in five Core Program Areas: Character & Leadership Development; Education & Career Preparation; the Arts & Culture; Health & Life Skills; and Fitness, Sports, and Recreation, the Clubs serve over 5,750 youth per year at 11 locations throughout the city.

For more information, please call 562.595.5945 or visit www.bgclublb.org.

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