The Boulder Jewish Community Center held its eighth annual Reflections gala on Saturday night, and, in line with its Oscars theme, broke all previous “box office” records for fundraising. This is all the more remarkable considering that the event, planned for almost a full year, fell on a night that saw the Front Range in the middle of one of the winter’s biggest storms. More than 300 people braved 6- to 12-inch accumulations of snow from Friday night through the party, many deciding to take advantage of room specials at the Omni Hotel to stay overnight rather than trying to return home in the storm.
Those who did turn up, about 75% of ticket holders, were treated to a red-carpet evening at the Omni: getting their picture taken on an actual red carpet, with a JCC-themed backdrop; well-stocked bars with both hosted and cash liquor selections; an enormous silent auction that, in a first for the BJCC, was completely paperless; a delicious buffet-style dinner that included kosher options; a short program; and live music by the Nacho Men that provided two hours of dancing fun.
The results were nothing short of spectacular: over $150,000 raised in all, including $75,000 during a paddle-raiser specifically targeted toward scholarships to the BJCC’s many youth programs. Both numbers were records for the Reflections event, despite the last minute drop in attendance. Said BJCC Executive Director Jonathan Lev:
Reflections this year was unbelievable! Collectively, we raised more money than ever before in this event’s history. Now more families will be able to attend our school and programs. I am truly humbled by the generosity and willingness of our community to support youth scholarships and the JCC as a whole in spite of the snowy weather on Saturday night. Thank you to everyone who participated!”
The short program, primarily honoring Bright Stars Gail and Jerry Sloat and Rising Stars Beth and Michael Margolis, featured wonderful videos about each couple and their Boulder Jewish community involvements, and a presentation of their awards. But unlike the Oscars, the award-winners did not speak, thus shortening the program by potentially 20 minutes.
And in a positive break from prior Reflections events, the live fund-raising was limited to the paddle-raising for the youth scholarships, eliminating the live auction and “heads-or-tails” rituals of recent years. The program concluded with a great video compilation of prior Oscar-winning Best Songs, slightly altered for the occasion:
The Nacho Men provided great live music entertainment, including a wide variety of musical styles that got people on the dance floor and kept them there.
The BJN will post our full slideshow of pictures in a few days, along with a full report from the BJCC.