SANTA FE– Mayor Javier Gonzales hosted his first Mayor’s Ball on Oct.11 at the Santa Fe Convention Center. In this annual event, the City of Santa Fe Mayor selects one nonprofit organization to receive free use of the Santa Fe Community Convention Center facilities and services. This year’s beneficiary was Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern New Mexico.
The dedicated Gala chairs as well as the entire Gala committee brought 498 guests to the Mayor’s Ball. That included many Santa Fe residents and others who traveled from Taos, Gallup, Los Alamos, Española, Las Vegas, Las Cruces and elsewhere to support Mayor Gonzales’ commitment to opening opportunities for northern New Mexico youth.
The evening began and ended with Spanish-themed entertainment by EntreFlamenco, Yves Lucero and Nacha Mendez, a silent auction, and Spanish tapas and paella dinner coordinated by Chef Tom Kerpon and created by 10 of Santa Fe’s top chefs.
Highlights included a $100,000 “make-a-match” challenge issued by Whitney and Meredith George in honor of Danny O’Neil, who died suddenly Sept. 11. O’Neil was a generous friend and mentor to many, touching many lives. Guests met and exceeded the challenge. The Mayor’s Ball closed with the live auction of an art piece created exclusively for Big Brothers Big Sisters by renowned local artist Ramón José López.
All told, donors and sponsors contributed over $300,000 to support mentoring relationships throughout northern New Mexico. Proceeds will go towards helping Big Brothers Big provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported 1-to-1 relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.
“Thanks to Mayor Gonzales and all who came out to support it was an amazing, incredible, over the top event,” said Big Brothers/Big Sisters CEO Andrea Fisher Maril. “This will open opportunities to many more children to succeed and thrive in life.”
For 110 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. As the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 5 through 18, in communities across the country. It develops positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people. It currently matches children in Santa Fe, Rio Arriba, Los Alamos, Taos, San Miguel, Mora, McKinley and Colfax counties.