Our Fourteenth Annual Graduation and Scholarship and 20th Anniversary Celebration was a lovely evening honoring the past, celebrating the present, and dreaming about the future. Nearly 200 guests joined us at the Miners Foundry on May 7th. Guests enjoyed sparkling wine from Nevada City winery as they wandered the Stone Hall, which was decked out with historical pictures and videos and program milestones and highlights. Our eighth grade girls were on hand to answer questions about their experiences in the academic year, the summer program, and with their mentors and angels. Antonio Ayestaran catered our beautiful and delicious dinner while guests enjoyed presentations from me, Founder Mary Collier, High School Director Kristin Aguilar, and of course our eight graduating seniors! Also joining us in presentations were 2002 graduate, Jo Beaudreaux, and donor, Leo Granucci. Our graduates loved having the opportunity to hear from Jo about how her life has unfolded since she left The Friendship Club and many are anxious to get an active Alumni program started! It was a wonderful evening of celebration and connection. We were excited to welcome some of our friends from the early days. These are people who were part of The Friendship Club when it was just a little idea and they are the people who helped us grow the organization into what you know it to be today.
I cannot thank enough our founding board of directors and those early volunteers and donors for their belief in our mission, their support of the organization and myself as a leader, and to the community who has helped make this all a reality. You, our valued donors and volunteers, are the lifeblood of The Friendship Club and your support makes it all possible. Our girls are fortunate to be part of a loving and kind community of people who truly care about them.
Leo Granucci shared an exciting and unique challenge that evening that I would like to share with you. Now that we have served our community for twenty years we hope that you see the value in supporting our work and we hope that you would like to see us serving girls for at least another 20 years! In that light, an anonymous donor has challenged our donors and volunteers to consider leaving The Friendship Club in their bequest and/or estate plans. This donor will match any planned gift up to $500,000 if you make this commitment to The Friendship Club by the end of 2015. Please give me a call if you have any questions or would like to discuss this opportunity further. I can be reached at 265-4311.
Many thanks to those of you who came out on May 7th and thank you to the generous sponsors who made the evening possible. Here is to another 20 years of Friendship!