Big Brother Ken Rouse with Little Brothers Jesse and Ricky share with the audience the highlights of their match. Photo by Gage Brumbaugh.

The 2018 Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters Grand Gala and Auction, themed “From Prescott With Love” took place on Nov. 17th and brought together nearly 350 guests for the annual event. Following spirit tastings, selfies with lighted spy movie silhouettes and silent auction browsing, guests entered the ballroom – theatrically decorated in black, white and gold.

Presented by the culinary staff of the resort, diners enjoyed a special meal designed just for the YBBBS gala. Local singer Rebecca Lane passionately delivered the national anthem and emcee Big Brother Greg Ellingham of Findlay Toyota wowed the crowd with his James “Bondesque” British accent.

Verde Valley Executive Director John McTurk introduced the new marketing for the agency, centered around Big Brothers, Big Sisters and donors being Defenders of Every Child’s Potential.  Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli served as auctioneer for the live auction, with help from Ellingham in keeping the competition hot and lively across the ballroom.

The Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Jazz Band entertained diners with James Bond movie theme music before YBBBS Matches took the stage, with Littles sharing their future dreams. Little Brother Sammy looks forward to being a chef, while Little Sister Juliette aims to be a pediatric doctor.

“The 2018 YBBBS Gala was such an amazing evening. It was wonderful to see the community come together to support such a fantastic organization. The speeches from both Bigs and Littles were so heartwarming. It truly was a great event and was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone at our table. We all loved being able to help give back through both the silent and live auction,” said Breeanya Hinkel, owner and publisher of Prescott Woman Magazine. Hinkel is a YBBBS Woman of Influence and was a sponsor of the gala.

Annual Gala Raised Enough to Match 300 Children

This annual fundraiser is a major source of revenue for YBBBS and raised enough funds to match 300 children, thanks to the generosity of caring donors. “Being my first YBBBS gala, I wasn’t sure what to expect,” said YBBBS Interim President and CEO Erin Mabery. “What I took away was this community truly and deeply loves this agency, so my new role is much bigger than just a leader, but I feel responsible – as if taking on a precious child who belongs to the whole county. I love the powerful, new messaging … that we are the defenders of potential. It was magical to see the county’s residents enjoying an evening together while defending the potential of our youth, and to be part of a mission that changes lives forever.”

This event could not have been possible without the time and talent of the 2018 Gala Committee, under the leadership of Tracy Homer, YBBBS board member, a Woman of Influence and the owner of the French Hen Boutique on Montezuma Street in Prescott. Members included Rita Kavanaugh, Norm Balderrama, Anne-Marie Szabo, Sara and Amanda Murray, Debra Andrews, Kathy Morrow, Kristy Everson, Billie Orr, Tina Newman, Peg Travers and Michelle Shaw.

Thank you to the gala premier sponsors: Northern Arizona Suns, Wells Fargo, APS, Prescott Woman Magazine, Allegra and ROX Media Group.



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