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Boys & Girls Club of Dane County to host Hearts for Helping Sneaker Ball


Guests are encouraged to wear their favorite sneakers as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County hosts the Hearts for Helping Sneaker Ball event on Friday, Feb. 10, at The Concourse Hotel in downtown Madison. The annual BGCDC fundraiser is the organization’s first signature event of 2023 and generally brings together Madisonians from all walks of life to raise money for BGCDC programs. 

“We love our signature events. They are something that we look forward to every year,” says BGCDC President and CEO Michael Johnson. “They allow us to raise funds that are crucial to the continuation and expansion of our programs for youth in our community.”

“We have a sneaker ball theme this year so we are encouraging people to dress up in their best cocktail attire and then their most fun sneakers, as well,” says Genavieve Sticha, the special events manager for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County. “It’s something new and fun that we’re doing for this year. We’ll be having a sneaker contest that evening and we’ll decide at the end of the night who in attendance has the best pair of sneakers on … so it should be really fun.”

The annual Hearts for Helping event will have many of the components that have made it such a popular event over the years. Eventgoers can take a chance at winning a $4,000 jewelry raffle, dine on heavy hors d’oeuvres, play casino games, or just socialize and network.

“The evening kicks off at 5:30 p.m. We have a jewelry raffle, silent auction, live auction, casino games, and some other fun activities as well,” Sticha says. “Then we go into the program. And after the program, we have an eight-piece band, “Hey Jimmy” coming up from Chicago.”

While this event is a vital fundraiser for BGCDC programs and club operations, it is also an opportunity to recognize outstanding community members and organizations that help keep BGCDC moving forward.  Honorees will receive awards during the official program including Ascendium, American Family Insurance, Bank of Sun Prairie, Dane County Office of Equity and Inclusion, Daniel & Julie Hartung, Foley & Lardner LLP, Josh Grotheer, Madison365, Madison Area Builders Association, Madison Metropolitan School District, Mary Burke, Millicent Sutters, Thermo Fisher, Tim & Pat Size, UW Health, Verona Safety Supply, Inc., and Wisconsin Athletics.


“The silent auction will have some great items and we have some different Packer apparel signed by some famous athletes and we have spa packages.  So there’s a little bit of everything for everyone,” Sticha says.

There are two ticket options for the event – the Gala ticket and the Groove ticket.

“So the Gala ticket gets you in right at 5:30 p.m. for the whole night and includes those casino games, heavy hors d’oeuvres, etc. There’s also a Groove ticket that’s a little bit cheaper that lets you in for the band portion of the night starting at 8:30 p.m. … if you want to come out and have a good time and dance and enjoy the night with us.

“What I love about this Hearts for Helping event is that it brings together so many different business, government and community leaders and it’s really cool to have everyone in one room and raising funds for Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County,” she adds. “It’s always just so much fun. The energy is great. And you really get to see how we’re making a difference in the community.”

That difference in the community is made by meeting their fundraising goal of $300,000 between ticket sales and the silent auction and live auction. 

“The fund raised at the event will go towards the new [Boys and Girls Club of Dane County] McKenzie Regional Workforce Center and funding of that it’ll go back into our programs, as well,” Sticha says.

“Funds raised support our afterschool programs like Career Launch which prepares young people to explore careers and set goals, our TOPS (Teens of Promise) College Success Program which provides additional support services for college students who were in AVID/TOPS, and our new CareerForce Buildup program where youth can learn about careers in skilled trades, visit residential and commercial job sites, apprenticeship training centers, and building projects with hands-on activities,” adds Johnson.

There are still tickets available for the Feb. 10th event. While they last, tickets can be found here.