OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) – Saturday evening, April 2, the iconic pop of champagne bottles sound tracked the Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh’s biggest philanthropic event of the year, Winefeast.
Organizers emphasized why the fundraiser is so crucial to the 3,000 children helped by their programs.
“We have families that come in and they’re at the worst day of their life,” director of club operations for the Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh, Lindsay Clark, shared. “They’re coming in asking for help. We have kids who give you a hug everyday and know that they feel safe. We have kids who literally come over and take a nap in the afternoon because they don’t feel safe at home.”
That’s what the Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh means to just a few of the kids it serves. However, Saturday night it served up a five-course meal with a wine pairing to about 600 people packed into the Best Western Waterfront Hotel and Convention Center for Winefeast.
“Without it we really couldn’t function,” Clark highlighted.
While Winefeast is the largest fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club of Oshkosh, supporting their after school and summer programs goes beyond just one evening.
“My favorite part of this event is when people tell me that they want to come to club and visit after they hear all of the amazing stories,” Tracy Ogden, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh, said. “Then to bring them through the club and see the kids having dinner at night, getting a shower if they need it, or getting their homework done, getting to go on field trips or college visits. Giving them opportunities that they wouldn’t otherwise have.”
The Oshkosh organization even starting to make plans to use their own facility as a resource building.
“So, if parents need something, going to that place and saying I need help with public service,” Clark explained. “I need help with childcare. I need help with whatever it might be and we’re there to help them as a whole instead of just little pieces.”
If you want to come out and support at next year’s Winefeast in April 2023, Ogden recommended buying 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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