Valley News -

Boys & Girls Club of Southwest County celebrates a rocking success


Last updated 10/26/2017 at Noon

Special guest Grammy award-winning Siedah Garrett rocks the house with her songs and inspirational message. Paul Bandong photo

The 25th annual “Our Kids Rock” fundraising event for the Boys & Girls Club of Southwest County was a huge success. The 1960s Motown-themed event attracted 520 attendees and raised $190,000. This total is $30,000 more than last year’s event. Over 230 unique business and individuals provided sponsorships or auction items.

“Thank you to everyone who made our 25th annual ‘Our Kids Rock’ a resounding success!” Grant Anderson, CEO for the organization, said. “The money raised will provide a year of programs to 345 youth in Murrieta, Temecula and Lake Elsinore. Special thank you to our OKR committee, our presenting sponsor Pechanga and our many sponsors – large and small – and all of the staff and volunteers for their dedication to our kids and our mission.”

The event featured amazing vocal performances by the Boys & Girls Club Idol finalists, AnAhi Garcia Rodriguez, Chelsea Snow, Dani Arribere, Makayla Phillips and Selena Hosband.

“There is so much talent in this valley,” one attendee said, who also mentioned former BGC Idol contestants Cole Kriske who competed on “The Voice” in 2015 and Anatalia Villaranda who competed on both “The Voice” in 2017 and “American Idol” in 2016.

A performance by special guest Siedah Garrett brought the audience to their feet. Garrett has won a Grammy award and has been nominated twice for an Academy Award as a singer and songwriter. Garrett cowrote Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” and was Jackson’s duet partner on “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.” She was also recognized for giving her time and advice to the aspiring BGC Idol singers.

The active live auction featured breakfast with Santa and 20 guests, an estate trust package, a personal parking spot at the Promenade Mall, pizza for a year, a purebred chocolate Labrador puppy, two first-class round-trip airline tickets to anywhere in the continental United States, an NFL experience with Marshall Faulk, a commemorative autographed Lakers collage signed by Kareem, Magic Johnson and James Worthy, a South African safari for two and the ultimate garage makeover.

The Boys and Girls Club of Southwest County serves more than 1,000 children each year in Lake Elsinore, Murrieta and Temecula. Sixty percent of the children qualify for the free and reduced school lunch program; nearly one-third are raised in single-parent households.

On average, it costs the club $1,090 to serve one member for a year with programs, transportation, meals, snacks, etc., and they collect an average of $550 in program fees. The gap of $450 per member is funded solely by community support. The local club is not funded by Boys & Girls Club of America, but it is locally governed and funded. They can apply for some competitive grants.

Terry Gilmore, owner of leadership sponsor Paradise Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC, puts this vintage 1960s look together by scavenging through his own closet. Gilmore is also a co-founder and board member emeritus for the Boys & Girls Club of Southwest County. Paul Bandong photo

Boys & Girls Club programs utilize five key elements for positive youth development, high-yield activities, targeted programs, regular attendance and accountability to accomplish priority outcomes of academic success, good character and citizenship and healthy lifestyles.

According to Anderson, a recent University of Michigan study found that every dollar invested in Boys & Girls clubs returns $9.60 in current and future earnings to their communities. In addition to improved grades for club members, the study documented reduced alcohol use and increased earnings for parents.

“I encourage community members to come visit our Boys & Girls Club facilities and see the impact we are having on kids’ and families’ lives,” Anderson said. Tours may be coordinated through Alina Cota at (951) 699-1526, ext. 102. For more information, to become a club member, partner, donate or to volunteer, visit or call (951) 699-1526.


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