Last year, Shanna Warren, chief executive officer for the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and Greater East Valley, had an idea for an enjoyable evening that would also benefit the youth organization she oversees.
"I have friends who work as retail vendors and I thought it would be a great idea to invite them over, along with some other friends, let them share their line of kitchen items, cosmetics, clothing, jewelry and accessories, and ask them if they would be willing to donate a portion of anything they sold to the club," Warren said.
"We just did it in my living room, and it was such a great evening — such a success — that it was suggested we do it again in a larger venue and open it to the public," she added.
This past Friday evening, Warren, her staff and 15 vendors teamed up to turn that suggestion into a reality as they presented the inaugural Boys & Girls Club Ladies Shopping Night.
"We were trying to decide where to do it," Warren continued. "Then Tom Whalen, who is the general manager of Hotel Amarano and a former board member of the Boys & Girls Club, graciously stepped up to sponsor the event and host it."
The open house poolside event, which ran from 4:30 to 9 p.m., was staged to raise funds for the club's financial aid program.
"We never turn any child away for an inability to pay," Warren said. "We serve 2,300 youth a day at 20 sites, and approximately half of our families need financial assistance."
While enjoying champagne and hors d'oeuvres, participants perused the offerings by vendors that included Sally Hallada of Arbonne's skincare and nutrition products.
"Through the Arbonne Foundation, we have granted $5,000 to the Boys & Girls Club," Hallada said. "And I have become personally involved by volunteering at one of their offsite locations."
Among those who shopped, sipped and supported the cause throughout the evening were Lianne Depino, Susan Sebastian, Abbe Cote, Jazmin Erving, Emily Humble, Erica Long, Tracey Harris Ban, Chris Hunter, Karen Volpei-Gussow, Brittany Vaughan, Nancy Gams Korb, Dale Gorman, Jeanette Meyer, Arp Ineh, Sunny Singer, Joan Ortiz and Barbara Howell.
Having served Burbank and the surrounding area for close to a quarter of a century, the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and Greater East Valley provides youth with a culture of caring through its main club and 19 satellite sites.
Employing a staff of skilled professionals, the club gives members the opportunity to participate in educational, artistic and athletic programs, including performing arts, homework assistance, tutoring, college prep and leadership training.
For more information about upcoming Boys & Girls Club fundraising events, volunteer opportunities or to provide financial support, visit bgcburbank.org or call (818) 842-9333.