Boys & Girls Clubs also will host 2019, 2020 events

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FARMINGTON — More than $80,000 was raised for Boys & Girls Clubs throughout San Juan County during the annual Mayors' Ball in Farmington on March 3 at the Farmington Museum at Gateway Park.

Shawntay Wolfe, spokeswoman for the event, said 425 people attended the event, which was the first hosted by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Aztec, Bloomfield and Farmington.

Though she could not provide a specific amount, Wolfe said the event brought in a significant amount of contributions to the youth organizations.

“It was our first year (hosting the) event, so we were very pleased with the success of the event,” Wolfe said on Friday, adding “we don’t have all of the expenses entered in, so I can’t tell you exactly how much we made, but it was substantially over what we were budgeting for. It looks like we’re in the $100,000 range.”

Wolfe said the group budgeted to bring in about $80,000 from the event, but it was “a nice surprise to have all of the support that we received this year.”

“(Attendees) spoke loud and clear how important the Boys & Girls Club is to them,” Wolfe said. “Even in our economy that is struggling right now, they stepped up.”

The proceeds from the event will be split between the three Boys & Girls Clubs organizations in San Juan County, Wolfe said.

A committee will decide how the money is distributed, and Wolfe said funds will act as scholarships for the thousands of kids across the county who participate in the organization.

“This basically offers a scholarship for kids to be able to attend the Boys & Girls Clubs every day during the summer and to do the field trips and everything that comes along with it,” Wolfe said. “It helps maintain the computers that they work on, the equipment that they use, all of the sports equipment that they use, and all the different programs and things that we try to inject into their lives.”

Mike Patch, CEO of the Aztec Boys & Girls Clubs, said the event provides a good venue not only for community involvement and engagement by the club.

“The Mayors' Ball, in benefiting these three Boys & Girls Clubs, is a wonderful thing because it not only raises money that does directly into helping our community and all of our communities, but it also raises the visibility of the club in the communities and lets everyone know the good work that we do on a daily basis,” Patch said on Friday. “We’re excited to be a part of it.”

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Aztec, Bloomfield and Farmington will host the next two Mayors' Balls, Wolfe said. A different local charity is chosen every three years to host — and benefit from — the event.

Former Bloomfield Mayor Scott Eckstein said the event began in 2011 as a way to bring the larger county community together to raise money for good causes.

"It's really a win-win all the way around," Eckstein said on Friday, adding that "some people call it the adult prom, and that's kind of what it is, but you get the chance to dress up and go out and have a good time and help the community while they're doing it, so it's really a good deal."

Previous host organizations are the Big Brothers Big Sisters in San Juan County and Sexual Assault Services of Northwest New Mexico, according to Wolfe.

Megan Petersen covers business and education for The Daily Times. Reach her at 505-564-4621 or mpetersen@daily-times.com.

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