Friendship Club raises more than $35,000 to empower at-risk girls |

Friendship Club raises more than $35,000 to empower at-risk girls

The bidding is in full swing during The Friendship Club's annual benefit, held earlier this month at the local McDonald's.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

The joint was jumpin’ at McDonald’s restaurant in Grass Valley earlier this month when The Friendship Club hosted its “Golden Age of Swing.”

The party is an annual event for the community-based, grassroots nonprofit organization, whose mission is to integrate socially isolated girls into the community and to empower them to complete their education and live drug-free lives. More than 120 women volunteer as mentors, tutors and role models.

For the sixth year in a row, The Friendship Club and the Martinez family – owners of the local McDonald’s – have joined together to put on a theme dinner and auction at the restaurant. This year’s theme celebrated the swing era and began with a preview party and silent auction at the Fowler Center.

After silent bidding ended, guests – many of whom responded to an invitation to come in a Zoot suit or ’40s finery – boarded a shuttle dubbed the “A Train” to McDonald’s. About 100 enthusiastic guests were greeted there by some of The Friendship Club girls as they joined board member Terry Brown in singing “When You Wish Upon a Star.”

Bidding was spirited on all the packages, but bidders were particularly interested in club box seats at Pac Bell Park, a San Francisco overnight that included dinner at Fior d’Italia Italian restaurant, and a private hangar party at the Nevada County Air Fest. Bidders also purchased “camperships” at $250 each to sponsor a girl for the club’s summer enrichment program called Camp Friendship. More than $35,000 was raised during the evening.

Event co-chairs this year were Liz Coots and Gloria Glenn. Their committee transformed McDonald’s into a ’40s-era nightclub for the event. The Martinez family had the idea for the dinner and auction six years ago as a way of helping The Friendship Club raise funds for its programs.

To date, the annual event has raised more than $135,000 for The Friendship Club. The money has been used to help fund an after school and evening tutoring program, cultural field trips, character education, health and fitness education, and a technology lab.

For more information about The Friendship Club, call 265-4311.

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