BELLINGHAM, Wash. — In 2019, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County’s (BGCWC) in-person gala and auction raised about $400,000, roughly 20% of the organization’s annual operating budget. When in-person events were shut down in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic government mandates, organizers turned to hosting online events.
Virtual event attendees have the option of ordering a delivered “gala-in-a-box” to enjoy while virtually attending. These include a meal, adult beverage and dessert for 2. During the event, virtual attendees made monetary donations and bid on silent and live auction items. Registering for the event was free.
Last year’s 1-hour online event netted $301,882 and this year’s netted $314,556 according to BGCWC officials.
The proceeds of this auction go directly to support the Clubhouses that have been open to serve local kids in need throughout the pandemic. For the past year, the Clubs have provided a safe place, high-speed internet access, healthy meals, stimulating STEM and arts programs, as well as opportunities for young people to safely socialize with their peers.
BGCWC maintains clubhouses in Bellingham, Lynden, Ferndale and Blaine and operates Kids’ World childcare and preschool facilities in Bellingham and Ferndale.