By Colltey Sheldon
The Superstition Mountain Branch of Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley celebrated its much-anticipated 21st annual YesterYear celebration on April 6, 2019. This fundraiser has been directly benefiting the Superstition Mountain Branch and the many children, parents and families of the community that they serve for decades. This year, $100,000 was raised, thanks to the many supporters who attended the event.
The Superstition Mountain Branch was built from the roots up in May of 1995. At that time, a board of ten community members was passionate about starting a Boys & Girls Club for the kids of Apache Junction to have a safe, welcoming place to go after school. YesterYear was created as a fun-filled community event to fundraise and financially support the day-to-day operations of the Club. YesterYear first started in 1998 and has changed themes every year, including Mardi Gras, the Rocking 50s, Boogie Fever, The Great Gatsby and more.
YesterYear thanks its lead sponsors: United Group, Taco Bell and the Dolly Steamboat, all of whom have been sponsors from the 1st to the 21st event.
The community loves the event and it sells out every year. It is easy to see the difference in the children, as BGCEV – Superstition Mountain serves over 425 of the surrounding communities’ kids. When schools moved their schedule to four days a week, the Club was able to keep the doors open for the fifth day each week, helping working parents and those wanting their kids to be in a safe place after school hours. What’s more, every penny raised at the Yesteryear events stays local. The city and school district are major supporters of the efforts in the community and partner with the Club annually for the good of the community.
“It is amazing that, in such a small community, we are able to continue without an industrial base to draw from as a non-profit,” said Connie Lane, a BGCEV – Superstition Mountain Branch founding Board member. “Children have become the heart of our community and are supported heavily by all of our non-profit partners, who work hard each year to give back to causes that benefit the kids.
“The Apache Junction Mounted Rangers, Apache Greyhound Park, Goldfield Ghost Riders, Superstition Mountain Promotion Corp., the Elks Lodge and the Rotary were with us from the start back in 1995, and they are still with us today.”
The fundraiser is successful because it has become a community event where the hard work of local citizens is showcased in the children the Club has served for over 23 years as a grassroots effort. This year, $100,000 was raised at the event.