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By Miriam Raftery

March 19, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—The elegant U.S. Grant Hotel will be the site of the 48th annual Children’s Ball on March 29 at 6 p.m. This event benefits more than 3,000 children served each year by Boys & Girls Clubs of East County—and you’re invited.

Guests will enjoy the ambiance of the cocktail lounge complete with combo, designer drinks, silent auction, three grand drawing prizes and the ever famous seafood buffet.  In addition admission includes dinner, a live auction, dancing and an opportunity to meet some very special Club members. 

This special event honors Ron & Mary Alice Brady for their commitment to build The Brady Family Clubhouse & Teen Center and improving the lives of the children in La Mesa. “It’s better to build kids than try to mend adults” is not only Mr. Brady’s mantra, but has inspired the theme of this year’s Children’s Ball; Building a Better Future.

This event is sponsored by long-time BGCEC supporters and friends Conrad Prebys and Debbie Turner, Sharp Grossmont Hospital, the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians and Balfour Beatty Construction.

This event enables the Clubs to meet the financial demands to provide programs and activities for the 3,000 plus children served annually at the organization’s five club sites.

“The ball is going to be an elegant event. We offer our guests the chance to bid on some fantasy prizes – we have $1,000 cash, two tickets to see Lady Gaga, a 7-day trip in Hawaii at a two-bedroom suite, and a trip to Washington D.C. with tours provided by Congressman Duncan Hunter’s office. Those are drawing items,” said Lesa Mitchell, director of development for the Boys and Girls Clubs. In addition, live auction items will include diamond ring from Blumenthal Jewelers and 10 solar panels provided by ASI Hastings, she added.

The money raised from the event goes to the general operating fund for the Boys and Girls Clubs. This is one of four special events that we hold through the year.

“Our budget is $1.7 million and we are running five clubhouses,” said Mitchell.  The centers are in Santee, Lakeside, El Cajon, and La Mesa. El Cajon also has a teen center as well as a clubhouse; La Mesa will soon have a teen center when a new clubhouse there is completed. 

As a former Club member, San Diego business owner and BGCEC Board Member John Eppstein acknowledges and appreciates the impact the Clubs had on his life; "I grew up in each of the clubhouses in the East County. As a kid, the  Clubs gave me a place to go where everyone that worked there was a positive role model and taught me many of the values I have today. As an adult  I am so fortunate to give back to the Clubs, with my personal experience I can honestly say that the Boys & Girls Clubs of East County make’s a huge impact on the lives of the kids they serve."

To register for the 48th Annual Children’s Ball, visit: or call 619-440-1600.   Registration is $325 per ticket. 


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