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Monday, December 10 , 2018, 1:53 am | Fair 51º


Monopoly Reigns for Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara’s 75th Anniversary

Benefit at Bacara is no token celebration as fans and supporters get their game on

[Noozhawk’s note: This article is one in a series sponsored by the Hutton Parker Foundation.]

In 1938, oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia and ballpoint pens and Teflon were introduced. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs sang its way into theaters, Ted Turner was born, and Superman landed in the comics. While families gathered at their dining tables to challenge one another in a game of Monopoly, in the small coastal town of Santa Barbara, the Boys & Girls Club was being born.

Fast forward 75 years and it seems only fitting to recognize the club’s milestone anniversary with a grand dinner and live and silent auctions. Pass Go for Kids, the Monopoly-themed benefit, will take place Saturday, April 6, at Bacara Resort & Spa in Goleta (the city’s own “Park Place”). The event will “make everyone feel like a game piece on a Monopoly board,” enthused the club’s development director, Monique Littlejohn. “And, we’ll even have our own Community Chest and Chance.”

“There aren’t that many nonprofits that reach their 75th anniversary,” said event chairman David Beard. “We are excited to celebrate our success. And, we are very excited that Emmy-award winning Nancy Cartwright, the Voice of Bart Simpson, will emcee the event.”

Cartwright brought her program, Good Choices to the Boys & Girls Club in 2009. According to Cartwright’s website, the Good Choices program “presents simple concepts for making better decisions.” Community leader Steve Epstein will be the event auctioneer.

Both Beard and Littlejohn mentioned how exciting and important it is that the auction will honor Gerald “Jerry” Thede — a longtime Club volunteer (61 years), board member, community leader and a retired partner at Price, Postel & Parma LLP — as well as the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, dedicated sponsors of the club.

“We are proud to partner with an organization that has devoted the past 75 years to developing and enriching the lives of young people in Santa Barbara,” said Vincent Armenta, tribal chairman for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.

“We understand how important it is for children to have a safe and positive environment they can turn to, and that’s the role that the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara serves for many in this community.”

Two of the event’s live auction items will be a $7,000 watch donated by Corum and a ride on the Santa Barbara Fire Department’s ladder fire truck in the downtown Fourth of July Parade.

At several tables throughout the Boys & Girls Club during a recent visit, children could be seen helping with preparations for the event by gluing Monopoly money onto ceramic pots that will be used as the centerpieces for the tables.

“We are also going to have 10 kids participating in a song on stage,” said Littlejohn. “Thanks to Men’s Wearhouse, the boys and girls will be wearing tuxedos and looking like ‘Mr. Monopoly’. The kids have been working with Manny “Fresh” Murillo, a Boys & Girls Club employee and rapper in town, to create a song about what the Boys & Girls Club means to them.”

Hearing the kids sing about their love for the club will undoubtedly result in some “waterworks.”

“The event is a lot of fun,” Littlejohn continued. “Around 350 people attend. One of the highlights is the Dessert Dash. No one else does anything like it in Santa Barbara. At each table, people throw money into an envelope to bid on the desserts. Then, we tally how much each table has raised. Whoever has the highest bid gets to pick the first dessert. The people from that table run to the stage to pick their dessert. The tables start being called faster and faster — that’s where the dash comes in. It ends up where they are all fighting over the desserts on the stage.”

Proceeds from the event directly benefit the kids and the club’s afterschool programs.

“What I like about the Boys & Girls Club is that the afterschool programs have a significant impact on the kids in the community,” said Beard. “The children can be tutored in math, learn a new program in the computer lab, get involved in Notes for Notes or learn life skills in the club’s Teen Center. The children also get to go on camping trips and most of them have never been camping before. Carolyn Brown is a wonderful executive director and has really helped the club grow.?

“The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara is not just about sports,” she added. “It’s about education.”

In addition to Beard, the Pass Go for Kids volunteer committee includes Lin Aubuchon, Jim Beltran, David Edelman, Phillip Faulding, Tim Gallagher, Steve Golis, Anthony Gomez, Annamarie Kostura, Christine LeBon, Amie Parrish, Vickie Prezelin and Jim Turner.

Since 1935, more than 1 billion people worldwide have played Monopoly. To join in the “live-action” Monopoly fun and to build the “Community Chest” for the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara, contact development director Monique Littlejohn at 805.962.2382 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). The event begins at 5 p.m. April 6 and tickets are $250 per person.

» Click here for more information on the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara, or call 805.962.2382.

» Click here to make an online donation.

» Connect with the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara on Facebook.

Nancy Shobe is a Noozhawk contributing writer. She can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or follow her on Twitter: @shobebiz. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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