OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) – On Saturday night, April 2, the iconic clang of champagne bottles followed the Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh’s biggest philanthropic event of the year, wine festival.
Organizers highlighted why fundraising is so crucial for the 3,000 children their programs help.
“We have families coming in and they’re having the worst day of their lives,” said Lindsay Clark, director of club operations for the Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh. “They come to ask for help. We have children who hug you every day and know they feel safe. We have kids who literally come in for an afternoon nap because they don’t feel safe at home.
That’s what the Boys and Girls Club of Oshkosh means for some of the children it serves. However, on Saturday night he served a five-course meal with wine pairing to around 600 people crammed into the Best Western Waterfront Hotel and Convention Center for Winefeast.
“Without it, we really couldn’t function,” Clark pointed out.
While Winefeast is the biggest fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club of Oshkosh, support for their after-school and summer programs goes beyond just one night.
“My favorite part of this event is when people tell me they want to come to the club and visit after hearing all the amazing stories,” said Tracy Ogden, CEO of Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh. “Then to bring them through the club and see the kids having dinner at night, showering if they need to, or doing homework, field trips or college visits. By giving them opportunities they wouldn’t have otherwise.
The Oshkosh organization has even begun to consider using its own facilities as a resource building.
“So if the parents need anything, go to this place and say I need help with public service,” Clark explained. “I need help with childcare. I need help with anything and we are here to help them as a whole instead of just small pieces.
If you want to come support next year’s Winefeast in April 2023, Ogden recommended that you buy your tickets early as they tend to sell out every year. To donate to the Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh, Click here.
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