Boys and Girls Club ‘mixes’ up its annual fundraiser

Chef Chuck Waibel gets into the dance spirit Tony Marino with a flourish from the carving station where diners lined up for beef tenderloin, racks of lamb and turkey roulade at the Boys & Girls Club fundraiser.

Charlie McDonald/Special to the Daily News

Chef Chuck Waibel gets into the dance spirit Tony Marino with a flourish from the carving station where diners lined up for beef tenderloin, racks of lamb and turkey roulade at the Boys & Girls Club fundraiser.

Tom O'Reilly, Sharon Johnson, Jo O'Reilly and Kathleen Fleming enjoy a break between dance and dining at 'The Mix,' a reprise of the Boys & Girls Club's fundraiser to benefit the organization.

Charlie McDonald/Special to the Daily News

Tom O'Reilly, Sharon Johnson, Jo O'Reilly and Kathleen Fleming enjoy a break between dance and dining at "The Mix," a reprise of the Boys & Girls Club's fundraiser to benefit the organization.

Nick Koempel and Marge Kirby show their fellow dancers how to rock in one of three 'night spots' created at the Boys & Girls Club for its annual benefit.

Charlie McDonald/Special to the Daily News

Nick Koempel and Marge Kirby show their fellow dancers how to rock in one of three "night spots" created at the Boys & Girls Club for its annual benefit.

Having introduced “The Mix” concept to supporters of the Boys and Girls Club of Collier County (BGCCC) for the first time last year, the organization again rolled out red carpets leading to three of the hottest “dance clubs” in town on April 10 for 250 eager, casually clad partygoers to follow.

Spacious interiors and the extensive al fresco poolside pavilion on the Arlene and Jerry F. Nichols Campus more than accommodated the revelers. Picking up ID lanyards with attached pledge cards on arrival, many also popped for additional flashing donation stars, all to the sounds of steel drumming.

Fueled with refreshing aperitifs and mainly Asian-flavored passed party bites, the crowd responded generously to Mary Boyce-Johnson, club president/CEO, who called for them to come up with ever larger pledges.

The evening’s program began in the Video Jamz Club with NBC-2 Anchor Kellie Burns introducing physician and event chairwoman Dulce Dudley via live stream video from on high in the Peruvian Andean range, where she had been unexpectedly called to join an emergency medical team mission. Following that intriguing formality, guests took to the dance floor where veejay Tom Laroc blended the lines of club music with big screen video projections. A Miami entertainment celeb, he and the icy martinis soon had the crowd happily grooving to the music.

Next up, Club Tropicana throbbed with Caribbean fusion numbers including mambo, salsa and samba presented by the Kafé Salsa Latin Band that kept the dance floor full to capacity. Here, Mojitos and Margaritas were the preferred potions.

Finally, it was on to Blue Note Jazz Night Club where singer Rebecca Richardson and her musicians offered up their cool, sultry sounds. Not a bad way to end a wonderful evening, comfortably seated in the blue, subtly-illuminated venue with a smooth digestif in hand.

Others stopped back by the pool pavilion where Leo Echevarria of the Rocky Patel Cigar Company demonstrated his expertise at rolling and handed out samples. Some were intrigued with participating in “bobble head” videos and left with souvenir DVDs of their performances reminiscent of “Jib-Jab” shorts.

A unique fundraiser, the monies raised support youth programs for Naples and Immokalee at-risk children and families. The $250 per person ticket price included all beverages and gourmet cuisine orchestrated by Lisa Resch of Carolina Catering. Variously served in the three clubs as well as in the “Taste of the Mix” Dining Cafe were a double pasta station, a “raw” boat of clams, shrimp and oysters; as well, a carving station of beef tenderloin, racks of lamb and turkey roulade were featured. According to Resch, who runs the BGCCC culinary operation, “I produce and serve as many as 64,000 meals to the youngsters during the eight-week summer session.”

Last year’s net income rang in at $80,000. After the final tally this year, the net results were happy news: $100,000.

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