Donna Peterson was the lucky winner of an ATV Side by Side  at Boys & Girls Club Gala.

Donna Peterson was the lucky winner of an ATV Side by Side at Boys & Girls Club Gala.

Gala raises funds for Boys & Girls Club

The Greatest Gala on Earth was a totally sold out event as the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula presented their 29th Annual Auction & Gala.

For more than three decades thanks to a handful of people who were inspired to start the first Boys & Girls Club on the Kenai, the youth of the Peninsula have had a safe place to go and grow. On Nov. 12, the old Carr’s Mall was transformed into a venue that would have made Barnum & Baily jealous. Presented by Tesoro the event was also sponsored by City of Kenai, Soldotna and Seward, Central Peninsula Hospital, ConocoPhillips, United Way and 21st Century Community Learning Center.

In the midst of economic challenging times, the people of the Peninsula turned out to open their hearts and wallets to support the six clubs and teen centers from Homer to Seward.

“You would think that people would start reducing their giving in difficult times, but they do have to think about what is most important in their community and direct their giving accordingly. Obviously, seeing we equaled our record breaking year of last year, the Boys & Girls Clubs are recognized by our community from Nikiski to Seward as being an important service for helping young people to reach their full potential,” said Sen. Peter Micciche, past Boys & Girls Club president and auctioneer for the evening.

Much of the credit for the success of the galas over the years goes to Peter’s wife Erin, who along with her team transforms an abandoned grocery store into elegant ball room with a unique theme each year.

“You start thinking of something new and different that hasn’t been done before and before you know it the team gets together and makes something that is fun and fabulous. Every year we hear that this is the best one yet, which means we must be doing something right if they have forgotten about last year’s which was the best one yet, but I does raise the bar each year,” laughed Erin.

The gala sold out over 45 tables this year.

“A lot of people that are coming now are a mix of generations,” said Peter Micciche, “It used to be mostly older people who attended, the 40-somethings and above who wanted to support youth, but now we’re seeing a lot of young professionals in their 20s that have returned to the Kenai and remember that after school instead of going home to an empty house they went to a Boys & Girls Club to work on their studies, learn citizenship and have fun with friends. They are now coming home to support the next generation with the same life enhancing experience they had.

“Over 450 folks, a capacity crowd turned out and that is a testament that we don’t do this alone, but we have a great board, staff and sponsors, Erin’s team shows up every year and work their tails off for months to make this happen. Then folks come out and bid way more than what something is worth because they know it’s for the kids and many winners of the raffles and games end up donating what they win back to the clubs. It’s amazing to live and work in this community.”

To learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula or call 907-283-2682.

A cast of characters bring in the funds and fun at 29th Gala.

A cast of characters bring in the funds and fun at 29th Gala.

Unusual characters perform at Boys & Girls Club Gala.

Unusual characters perform at Boys & Girls Club Gala.

Auction  team for the Greatest Gala on Earth.

Auction team for the Greatest Gala on Earth.

More in News

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Kenai man dead after weekend collision

The crash took place at the intersection of Treasure Chest Street and the Kenai Spur Highway

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
Alexis Alamillo, of Anchorage, carries a sockeye salmon caught in a dipnet from the mouth of the Kenai River on Wednesday.
Kenai River dipnetting now open 24 hours a day

The liberalization of fishing regulation was effective starting Thursday evening

A drone rises into the air while kicking up dust, departing on a test flight for the use of beyond visual line of sight drone aircraft, at Furie Operating Alaska’s central processing facility in Nikiski, Alaska, on Wednesday, July 10, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Drone test flight operates beyond visual line of sight between Nikiski and a Cook Inlet platform

The drone could perform deliveries to and from Cook Inlet platforms

A map of Lower Skilak Campground shows the areas that will be closed in July and August 2024. (Graphic provided by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Areas of Lower Skilak Campground to close for repair starting Monday

The East Loop will be closed — projected to be reopened at noon on Aug. 4

Kenai Courthouse is photographed on Feb. 26, 2019, in Kenai, Alaska. (Clarion file)
Sterling resident sentenced to 30 years in prison for sexual abuse of minors

Additionally, Crane will face 15 years of supervised probation as well as sex offender registration and treatment

Shrubs grow outside of the Kenai Courthouse on Monday, July 3, 2023 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Former Soldotna police officer acquitted of 2023 assault allegations

He was found not guilty following a five-day trial in late June

A parade of cars and trucks flying flags in support of former President Donald Trump proceed down the Kenai Spur Highway in Kenai, Alaska, on Sunday, July 14, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Residents caravan across central peninsula in support of Trump

The parade came a day after an attempted assassination of the former president

Drummers perform during a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Dena’ina Wellness Center in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, July 12, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenaitze tribe celebrates 10 years of ‘far-fetched dream’ at wellness center

Community members recognized the work done at the Dena’ina Wellness Center over the past decade

Most Read