Boys & Girls Clubs of Oakland Celebrates Its 2015 Youth of the Year, Mahlik A. Smith, at Its 26th Annual “Salute to Youth” Gala & Benefit Auction

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Boys & Girls Clubs of Oakland (BGCO) will host its 26th Annual "Salute to Youth" Gala & Benefit Auction on Thursday, May 7th, 2015.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Oakland (BGCO) will host its 26th Annual "Salute to Youth" Gala & Benefit Auction on Thursday, May 7th, 2015 from 6:00 - 9:30 p.m. at the Scottish Rite Center at 1547 Lakeside Drive in Oakland, CA. The event, which salutes the organization’s 2,400 student-member enrollment, also honors the Club's 2015 Youth of the Year, Mahlik A. Smith.

This esteemed event aims to raise the necessary funding to help sustain BGCO’s operations throughout 2015. The event provides an evening of entertainment while also honoring high achieving Oakland students who are members of the BGCO. Over 250 passionate members of the business and philanthropic communities have the opportunity to spend a memorable evening with Oakland’s finest youth and luminaries. Guests will network with local business and civic leaders, enjoy music, vie for exciting silent and live auction items, dine on local cuisine, and celebrate the youth of Oakland. All proceeds will benefit the young people served by Boys & Girls Clubs of Oakland (

The highly sought after auction items include once-in-a-lifetime opportunities: one-on-one time with professional athletes, exclusive wine tastings, premium suites at local sporting events, and other unique experiences in addition to many exceptional items. The event is supported by top-level sponsors, including Athens Administrators and the Danvera Foundation. The sponsorships range from $1,500 to $25,000 and are still available. There are also tables and individual tickets for those who would like to support and attend the event. More information regarding these opportunities can be found by visiting their website (

The Youth of the Year program, which is administered by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and has been nationally sponsored by the Reader's Digest Foundation since 1947, recognizes outstanding contributions to a member's family, school, community and to their Boys & Girls Club, as well as personal challenges and obstacles overcome. Oakland’s student members are personified by BGCO’s outstanding new 2015 Youth of the Year, Mahlik A. Smith, who will be celebrated at the event. Mahlik is looking forward to graduating in June, 2015 from McClymonds High School having maintained a 3.5 GPA throughout his high school career. He aspires to attend Hampton University as a pre-med student to combine his passions of sports and medicine to be a sports medicine physician. Mahlik is an active member in the Oakland community, serving as a positive role model and inspiration for all of Oakland’s youth, including BGCO’s 2,400 members. In 2014, through his many hours of community service benefitting the City of Oakland, he earned the Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Community Service Award. Mahlik believes that “the Boys and Girls Club was a key piece of the puzzle that kept us all fed, safe, and involved in positive activities.” Mahlik expresses his deep appreciation for the Clubs and his two Club Mentors, Rodney Cook and Magen Clay, whom he says “taught me how to be a leader, a student athlete, and a giving person.”

The Mistress of Ceremonies, Anne Makovec, is a news anchor and reporter for KPIX 5 Television. Anne has been covering Northern California news as an anchor and reporter since 2004 in the Monterey Bay, Sacramento, and San Francisco Bay Area. Makovec says the event is a celebration of rising above: “After years of reporting on the culture of violence in some Oakland neighborhoods, it's clear that the work BGCO does is life saving for the kids who are brave enough to accept a helping hand.”

Boys & Girls Clubs of Oakland

Boys & Girls Clubs of Oakland's mission is to develop its community's youth into positive contributors to society. Now in its 76th year, the Clubs continue to provide safe places to learn and grow, opportunities for ongoing relationships with caring adult professionals, life-enhancing programs, and other character development experiences each year for girls and boys, ages 6 to 17. The organization supplements the endeavors of their families and schools, and plans to serve an enrollment of 5,000 Oakland youth in the near future. Visit their website to learn more about their mission and programs.

Please contact Federico Pacheco (FPacheco(at)bgcoakland(dot)org; 510-444-8211 x12) for sponsorship opportunities, auction items donation, and ticket information. More information can also be found on the on the BGCO website ( and tickets/sponsorships can be purchased directly via Eventbrite ( Please contact "Salute to Youth" Steering Committee Chair Carla Bonilla-Barbier (CBonilla(at)BarbierSecurity(dot)com; 510-517-5805) with additional questions.

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Pamela Neher

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