Boys & Girls Club of Miami-Dade holds gala to raise money for after-school programs

MIAMI (WSVN) - An annual event to raise funds for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade will take place this Saturday.

This year’s theme is one close to the hearts of many in the South Florida community: A Night in Havana.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade has been serving youth in South Florida since 1940. For decades they have been a safe place for kids, providing a wide range of programs to keep them off the streets and out of trouble.

“Boys & Girls Club is open to every boy and girl that needs us,” said President of the Boys & Girls Club of Miami-Dade Alex Rodriguez-Roig. “If you come to our doors and say you need some kind of service, that’s what we are here for.”

The club has tons of programs to help students hone their skills. “What we’ve seen is an increase in services in education and academics and STEM type programming,” said Rodriguez-Roig. “A little more fine-tuned kids are looking for more specific types of programs.”

Desirey Munoz, now a dance teacher at the Boys & Girls Club, said, as a child, she spent almost every day there. “I was involved in everything,” she said. “I did soccer, I did tennis, but for sure always dance. I remember I had to choose, and I ended up here every day.”

Munoz credits a lot of her dance instructors for making a difference in her life. “There were so many dance instructors I had here, and they just all individually made a big difference in their own way,” she said. “I just remembered and carried that with me throughout time, and so I really just wanted to come back and do the same for kids now.”

Kids like 14-year-old Anthony Brown. “The Boys & Girls Club, they raised me,” he said. “I came here everyday after school in the summer, everyday Monday through Friday. I came, and the people here taught me every sport I know. They helped me with my homework. It’s just a great place to be.”

This Saturday, they’ll be kicking off their Annual Wild About Kids Gala for a night filled with fun and philanthropy. Funds raised will help the club continue to succeed.

“It’s going to be spectacular,” said Rodriguez-Roig, “so everyone is going to have a great time, but at the same time, it’s going to help raise a lot of money to keep these programs running here in the clubs.”

The black-tie event will take place at the JW Marriot Marquis in Miami, and 7’s very own Belkys Nerey will take a break from her anchoring duties to emcee all the fun.

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