SANTA FE, N.M. — Patty Carter has a few sweet connections in the music industry so, every year, the Boots, Bolos and Boogie gala benefitting Youth Shelters has a major band to get people out of their seats and onto the dance floor.
This year it was Tommy Roe, singing music most of us knew all the words to – remember him from the ’60s? He had some No. 1 hits, like “Sweet Pea,” “Dizzy” and “Sheila”! He’s still rockin’ and a rollin,’ and had the tables empty, a sight seldom seen … all feet were on the dance floor, with a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on!
About 300 friends and supporters came out for the evening of great music and dancing, and also the huge silent and live auctions, taking up the entire downstairs of the Eldorado. Exotic trips, cutting-edge fashions, gorgeous jewelry and valuable art raised much-needed funds for Santa Fe’s Youth Shelters.
A lovely young woman, Jessica Montoya, took the microphone to share with us her difficult pathway to personal success. It began on the streets of Santa Fe.
As a child, her parents were gang members, belonging to rival gangs. Good Lord! Throughout her childhood, her father abused her. Her mother allowed it … . He was abusing her, too.
The little girl was broken and helpless. When she ran to friends, teachers, counselors or policemen for help, they always returned her to her home. For more. Every day, she heard “You are nothing.” Finally, she really ran away, with nowhere to go.
So she went to the streets, along with typically 1,600 other children and teenagers in Santa Fe. That’s an appalling number if it were stray cats, but it’s unconscionable for children! Especially when they’re there because they’re unsafe in their own homes.
The Youth Shelters Outreach Program finds some of them and some others wander into the drop-in center. They receive food, a shower, and tutoring in math and English so they can keep up in school.
In 2014, 1,000 youths were served. The rest? Who knows?
The Youth Shelter is there and available to help all homeless youth and guide them on to a path for success in spite of their troubled childhoods, and the temptations and dangers of the street.
The roughly $100,000 raised at Boots, Bolos and Boogie will support programs such as the drop-in center; the transitional living apartments created for kids 17-21; the outreach program that takes good food to the kids who remain out on the streets; a collaborative program with the school system to prevent drop outs; and a counseling program.
Youth Shelters fills a desperate need in this community. When I see a kid or two hanging out in the grocery store parking lot, I must tell them about Youth Shelters. You too! It could make all the difference.
Ashley Margetson has a BA in English from UCLA, is a senior real estate broker with Sotheby’s International Realty and has a finger on the pulse of philanthropic activities in Santa Fe. To tell us about an upcoming event, email firstname.lastname@example.org.