People party for three good causes

Downtown Rochester was the place to be on Sept. 10 for the Big Party Downtown. The event, held at the Shops at University Square, raised money for three youth mentoring organizations: Bolder Options, the Boys and Girls Cluband Y Mentors.

Jeanne Huddleston,of Rochester, attended the event to "support the youth of Rochester," she said. "They are our future."

Each of the beneficiary groups works with youth in a unique way. Bolder Options is a one-on-one program that uses running and biking, goal-setting and volunteerism to build self esteem and healthful habits. The Boys and Girls Club provides a safe place for kids to spend their free time, and Y Mentors matches kids with adult role models.

"All three agencies really improve the community," said Leann Stroh, who attended the party with her husband, Dan, who is a Y Mentors board member.

"I’ve had a chance to see the kind of good results we can get when kids who need direct involvement get it," he said. "That’s how we can make a difference."


Susan Alexanderattended the party to learn more about each of the groups.

"One of my objectives is to check them out. I’m looking for volunteer opportunities," she said. "I’m intrigued by Bolder Options."

There is a great need for mentors, and recruiting new volunteers was one of the big benefits of the party.

"We need more mentors, especially males," said Shaun Hambargen, a mentor with Bolder Options.

Y Mentors typically has 40 to 50 kids looking for mentors on its waiting list.

In addition to providing information about each of the groups, the Big Party included music by Hooker and Booker, piano music by Dan Rengsdorf, a silent auction, casino games and a stage show. Rochester artist Greg Wimmercreated artwork during the event.

The University Square was open for shopping, and attendees had the opportunity to play Rochester’s version of Cash Cab, a trivia game, in a Checker Yellow Cab parked on Broadway.

More than 350 people attended the Big Party, generating more than $30,000 to be shared by the three groups.

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