On Saturday April 29th 130 people joined us at William Hill Estate Winery for the UnGala, a dinner & auction supporting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Napa Valley. This is the third time we have broken bread at William Hill and it’s important to recognize what this event has meant to the Children of Napa Valley. Since the Rise of the UnGala, the Club has grown in every possible metric. We’ve grown to serve more kids, We’ve grown to serve them more deeply, we’ve grown to be what the community needed in times of crisis and times of calm. 2,127 kids came through our doors in 2021 and by the close of 2022 that number had grown to 5,217. 5,217. The Monday after our last UnGala, we opened the largest suite of summer programs in our organization’s history, serving over 1,000 children. But we we’re finished yet! That fall, in addition to the expansion of our existing programs, we celebrated the opening of new locations at Browns Valley, Redwood, Unidos and American Canyon Middle School. And despite the significance of these achievements we were only just getting started. In the intervening months hundreds of kids and their families experienced the magic of the Club in and outside of our walls. Every kid had a person waiting for them afterschool. Someone who cared. Someone who noticed them. More than this we showed our kids the side of Napa we all want to participate in. We took kids ice skating at Meritage. We took them on the wine train. We put their art on display at Jessup cellars, and we sat in the audience as 8 of them took the center stage at the uptown to tell their story in front of a community of care.
We’re deeply proud of the work that the Club is doing with these children and teens because it elevates our community both now and tomorrow and we so glad to hear from our youth and parent speakers who helped to demonstrate the value of what we did. From Jaime who found his why with the walls of the teen center, to Dareydy who turned to the Club to find her tribe, to Jed and Teo who, new to Napa, had no one else to rely on. As our kids will tell you, there are many in the valley who see the Club logo and think, “Isn’t that a daycare…” But this isn’t day care, this is family. This is the power of a place that every one of the kids you see in those videos calls a second home.
The comment I love most about this event is that it feels like we’re in a friends backyard and I can tell you all that the generosity of the Gallo family in this regard is consistent with the spirit of that friendship. Whenever we call about the UnGala we always do it with a little bit of guilt because we know it’s a big ask, we know how inconvenient it is, we know how much work is involved. but on the other side of that conversation you can see the Gallo family or their staff they light up when we start to talk about the event. They can’t wait to do more. They’re always asking “how can we expand it?” “How can we get people more engaged?” “How can we make it more exciting?” That kind of generosity is all too rare and worthy of recognition.
If you’re reading all of this you’re probably wondering how to get tickets to next years event. We’ll reach out to all previous attendees later this year but if you attended with one of our board members or sponsors be sure to reach out to them to let them know you want to come again. Because of limited capacity this event is by invitation only so if you’ve not attended but want to please connect with us directly.
We’ll be posting pictures of the 2022 UnGala soon but in the mean time please feel free to send us your pictures by email or tag us on social media
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