Changing Lives Fundraiser Drums Up Support for Valentine Club
October 8, 2013 09:49 AM
Japanese Taiko drummers, a celebrated Chicago DJ, and a lavish five-course Asian dinner at Sunda New Asian capped an elegant evening on September 24, 2013 for the 120 people attending the 4th Annual Changing Lives Fundraiser, supporting the Louis L. Valentine Boys & Girls Club of Chicago.
Presented by the Valentine Club Board of Managers, Changing Lives raised $24,000 to help fund after school programs that benefit the Valentine Club's 1,300 members between the ages of 6-18 years old.
"The success of Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago stems from the passion of our volunteers, like those who serve on the Valentine Club Board of Managers and our Clubs throughout the city,", said James G. Keane, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago. "Their creativity in hosting this unique event demonstrates their commitment to the Valentine Club and to the youth who make the Club their second homes," Keane added.
Valentine Board of Manager Secretary and Event Chairwoman, Vivian Valtas said the time and contributions made by donors and volunteers truly is "Changing Lives" for kids in the near south side communities of Bridgeport, Chinatown, Canaryville, Brighton Park, and Back of the Yards.
Valtas also noted that the Valentine Club has the most diverse mix of youth among all Boys & Girls Club sites, as well as an extremely diverse base of supporters.
"Business leaders representing Chicago's ethnic melting pot have joined forces to build a strong foundation for the Valentine Club. They realize these children are the city's future, and our donors want to provide for them the tools they need to become successful community leaders," said Valtas.
For the fourth straight year, Sunda New Asian and Billy Dec, CEO Rockit Ranch Production,s have generously donated food and beverages for the Changing Lives fundraiser.
Chicago DJ Mancow Muller also donated his time to serve as the Master of Ceremonies for the evening.
Guests enjoyed a cocktail hour procession to the dining room, led by percussionists striking Japanese Taiko drums, which according to tradition, came from the Japanese goddess of sunlight, Shinto goddess Ame no Uzume and her brother, the god of sea and storms, Susanoo.
Entertainment included music by Mark Burnell, along with a special performance of "Cups" by the talented 11 year old Valentine Club Member, Nyjah Johnson.
The Changing Lives silent auction included a Chicago Blackhawks 2012-2013 team autographed hockey still photograph, Chicago Sun-Times printer's plate of the 2005 World Series Champion Chicago White Sox, a romantic sailboat cruise, and more.
On September 17, one week prior to the fundraiser, eight Valentine Club members were driven by limousine to Sunda New Asian, sponsored by Town & Country Limousine, Inc, to serve as a "Chef for a Day." These members participated in a sushi rolling demonstration and enjoyed a few of Sunda's signature dishes, including Mochi Ice Cream. These eight deserving youth were chosen after competing in a "Quick Fire" Challenge at the Club where they created the most unique, edible after-school snack.
The Valentine Club thansk Vivian Valtas, Event Chairwoman and Board Secretary, Gene Lee, Changing Lives Planning Committee, Sunda New Asian- Brett Shane, General Manager, Jess DeGuzman, Head Chef, Rockit Ranch Productions- Billy Dec, CEO, Mancow Muller, Valentine Board of Managers, silent auction donors, and guests for a magnificent evening.