John Farrell, Will Middlebrooks, Craig Breslow and Mike Carp

FORT MYERS, Fla. (March 5, 2014) – With more than 370 guests in attendance, the Ninth Annual Evening with the Red Sox dinner and auction, held on Feb. 24, raised nearly $120,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County.

“New records were set this year with more Boys & Girls Clubs supporters coming out to help this very special cause,” said Jim Larkin, general manager of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Fort Myers and chairperson for the event. “We are beyond thankful to all of our sponsors and guests for their generosity and continued belief in the Boys & Girls Clubs’ programs.

Funds raised during the event will benefit the BGCLC’s Summer Enrichment Camps that address the “summer learning loss” experienced by at-risk and underserved youth. More than 400 children will attend this year’s Summer Enrichment Camps with members spending an average of 392 hours in their Boys & Girls Club during summer break. Throughout the summer, Clubs provide academically focused activities to ensure students continue to make positive gains in their education, and high-yield learning opportunities to promote creativity and participation in the arts. Free, nutritious lunches and snacks during the camps are provided daily to keep tummies full and minds sharp, while daily recreation and sports sessions help youth stay active and healthy.

“We are humbled by the overwhelming support of the Red Sox Foundation, Ted Todd Insurance and all of our other sponsors and guests during this year’s Evening with the Red Sox,” said Shannon Lane, chief professional officer of the BGCLC. “This funding will help provide summer camp scholarships to more than 300 Club members from low-income families in Lee County. The families we assist have a household income of $15,000 a year or less and often struggle to provide even the basic necessities in life, not including the “extras” such as summer camp. How children spend their summer hours can greatly impact their upcoming academic performance and future, so we strive to make our programs available to youth every day, ensuring they experience positive outcomes both in school and the community.”

For the second consecutive year, the Evening with the Red Sox dinner and auction was held at JetBlue Park at Fenway South, the Red Sox’s 106-acre Spring Training and Player Development Complex, and included special guest speaker John Farrell, Red Sox manager and American League Manager of the Year runner-up, as well as autograph signings from Farrell and Red Sox players Craig Breslow, Mike Carp and Will Middlebrooks.

The evening also included a cocktail reception with hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine, more than 160 silent and live auction items, dinner and games. The unique list of silent and live auction items included the ultimate sports lover’s trip to watch the Boston Red Sox on Fenway’s Green Monster, an amazing long weekend in New York City for dinner and a Broadway show, a world-class supercar driving tour through Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas, a New Orleans getaway featuring dinner at Dickey Brennan’s Steakhouse in the French Quarter, sports memorabilia, hotel stays, gift baskets and more.

Event sponsors included the Coca Cola Company, Crowne Plaza Hotel at Bell Tower Shops, CVS Caremark, Encore Bank, Florida Power and Light Company, JetBlue Airways, the Red Sox Foundation, Suncoast Beverages, presenting sponsor Ted Todd Insurance and more.

Celebrating 40 years of providing quality youth programs and brighter futures for young people in our community, the Boys & Girls Clubs works to inspire and enable young people to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. The BGCLC strives to provide a safe, world-class Club experience that assures success is within reach of every young person who walks through its doors. The organization envisions all of its members graduating high school with a plan for the future, demonstrating good character and citizenship, and living a healthy lifestyle.

Clubs are located in communities with the greatest need where similar services are limited or nonexistent. Membership dues are $10 per school year so that all children can have access to its programs. The BGCLC relies upon the philanthropic support of individuals, corporations and foundations in order to sustain and grow its services.

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