Big Brothers Big Sisters “Power of Mentorship” Gala Raises over $380,000

Adam Handlos and Little Brother Kiere  Credit: Drew Altizer Photography
Adam Handlos and Little Brother Kiere Credit: Drew Altizer Photography

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area (BBBSBA), the largest and oldest one- to -one mentoring program in the Bay Area, held its “ Power of Mentorship” fundraising Gala on March 21 at the Four Seasons in San Francisco. Over 400 Bay Area philanthropists, corporate leaders, and community leaders came together for an evening of inspirational speakers, fine dining, and a live auction.   The funds will directly support BBBS of the Bay Area’s one-to-one mentorship program for at-risk children between the ages of 6 and 18.

David Kirp and Roberta Gonzales  Credit: Drew Altizer Photography
David Kirp and Roberta Gonzales Credit: Drew Altizer Photography

Roberta Gonzales of KPIX was the Master of Ceremonies with the keynote speech being delivered by David Kirp- James D. Marver Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley.  Professor Kirp is the author of seventeen books—including Kids First: Five Big Ideas for Shaping Children’s Lives and America’s Future (2011) which prominently features mentoring. The book highlights Big Brothers Big Sisters as an exemplary program.

Kathy Bella
Kathy Bella

BBBSBA CEO, Kathy Bella, presented Philanthropy awards to Irene Wong, Director of Community Grant making at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and to Ronald Copeland, Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Kaiser Permanente. Board Chair, Tom Keiser, presented Big & Little Exemplary Match Awards to Big Brother Adam and Little Brother Kiere, Big Sister Evelyn and Little Sister Stephanie, Big Brother David and Little Brother Erick.  Surveys of parents/guardians whose Little had been matched for 12 months or more, have shown that the impact is measurable and lasting.  Recent statistics show that 100% improved their GPA’s if they were struggling in school, 96% improved their ability to avoid using physical violence, and 92% improved their self-confidence. The evening concluded with a lively auction led by auctioneer Greg Quiroga of Reynolds and Buckley.  Guests vied for spectacular items such as a VIP behind-the-scenes tour of the Tesla Factory, a romantic wine country getaway, a week of adventure in London, an insider experience with the San Francisco Giants, and an Easter egg hunt at the White House.  The highest bid of the night, $19,000, won a week of tropical paradise at a private oceanfront estate on Maui.

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