Portland, OR. Nearly 300 supporters came to the Portland Art Museum to join Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro at the annual Be Great Ball on May 4th. Amber Barnes, Club Director, and Teya Shearer, the 2018 Youth of the Year volunteered at the event. The benefit featured a celebration honoring the opening of Boys & Girls Clubs newest location, the Rockwood Club in Gresham. It was also a time to honor champions who helped make the new club possible. John Herman, an instrumental part of the Rockwood project, received the inaugural Roy Ciappini “Be Great” award for his 50 years of service as a volunteer and advocate. The Be Great Ball raised around $550,000 to continue fulfilling the Boys &Girls Clubs mission of empowering all young people to discover their full potential as caring, engaged, and responsible community members. (Photo credit, Antonio Harris, Amanda Meyer)

Be Great Ball Speakers Erin Hubert and Shannon Inukai-Cuffee

Auctioneer Dale Johannes kicks off the Paddle Raise

The night began with a cocktail hour, where guests socialized under a custom-made archway and competed in the silent auction under a ceiling full of starry lights.

Regence Youth, Londynn, and Youth of the Year, Teya, take the stage to talk about their experiences at the Club

Attendees were able to speak to Club teens and staff members who sold them numbered keys for the Blue Door Raffle, a chance to unlock one of the two blue doors at either end of the stage and win a resort vacation to the Oregon Coast or Maui, Hawaii.

Emcee Tony Martinez from Oregon Fox 12 introduced speakers: Erin Hubert, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs; Shannon Inukai-Cuffee, Boys & Girls Clubs Board Chair; and John Herman, who received the inaugural Roy Ciappini “Be Great” award for his 50 years of tireless service to the Clubs. Dinner featured a video and live dance performance from Regence Club members, led in song by auctioneer, Dale Johannes. Dale led guests in a live auction with items that included a trip to New York to see the Broadway performance of Wicked, complete with backstage tour; a helicopter tour of Portland; and a gift package for a group of 10 lucky Boys & Girls Clubs members who will get to hang out with Portland Trail Blazers star CJ McCollum.

The 2018 Youth of the Year, Teya, and Regence member, Londynn, spoke to guests about their Club experiences. Teya summed up her personal experience, saying, “Growing up as a young black woman in America, I’ve faced a lot of barriers to achievement. Having the Club in my life opened my eyes to a different future than I thought was possible. They fostered my dreams, which didn’t focus on material wealth or beauty being my only worth. The Club encouraged me to strive to do well in school and pursue a college degree.” She then closed her speech by thanking attendees and donors for coming, saying, “On behalf of the thousands of young people that go to the Clubs every day, thank you for investing in us.”