The Boulder JCC held their 12th annual Reflections Gala on Saturday night, and for the first time, the event was held in the JCC building, rather than the Omni hotel. The results can only be described as “spectacular”.
Since opening in 2016, the Boulder JCC facility has become the go-to event space for many nonprofits and others in the Boulder County area. Despite holding dozens of successful events for others, the Boulder JCC continued to hold its own annual gala dinner at the Omni Hotel in Broomfield for another two years while the JCC worked on its event chops, experimenting with other organizations to find all the best uses of its various spaces. The learning and waiting paid off Saturday night.
In perhaps a first for any local Jewish organization, the Boulder JCC crew recognized that the favorite activity of Jews gathered together is to shmooze — the booze and food only adding to the festivities. So they eliminated the traditional “sit down at tables of 10” part of the gala entirely, and set up three different areas with bars and food stations — the main lobby, complete with jazz group; the upstairs library provided a darker, more intimate setting, and finally, the “Gathering Space” at the heart of the Early Childhood Center provided a third space with more energy — which would also become the post-program dance venue with DJ.
And, oh, yes, there was a program! Levin Hall was set up theater style, making it easy for everyone in the audience to see and hear the program, without having to shift around their chairs or deal with meal detritus while paying attention to the presentations. On the way in, there were shelves of pre-poured wine and other drinks ready for the taking. And very theater-like, attendees were offered their choice of popcorn and movie candy as they came into hall.
The program honoring Miche and Noah Bacher and Cathy Summer and Steve Ellis was very brisk and as always, the movies about the honorees were extremely well done. A very quick, organized — and “illuminated” — paddle-raising to benefit the Early Childhood Center’s scholarship funds followed (results will be forthcoming in a future post this week from the JCC). While the program ran, the Lobby was reset for coffee and dessert and the ECC DJ got prepared for dancing.
And, the dessert was something called a “pie wall” — a flat structure with hooks holding little buckets of fruit or chocolate pie, each warmed underneath by a small votive candle. A simple description doesn’t do it justice, however.
You can get the JCC’s take on the event, including the honoree videos, here.
In summary, the 2019 Reflections Gala will go down as the year the Boulder JCC not only broke the mold, they set a new standard for actually enjoyable fundraising events — or any kind of event. We look forward to next year, as the Boulder JCC will no doubt go from “strength to strength”.