The Fifth Annual Champion of Youth Gala benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Venice will be held at The Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey Friday, Oct. 8.

During the gala, the club will bestow the Champion of Youth Award to UCLA men’s basketball Coach Ben Howland, and the Corporate Leadership Award to JoAnne and Jaime Hepp of team TAG. The gala will also feature a silent auction with over 150 items ranging from trips to the Caribbean to autographed memorabilia from Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. with a reception and silent auction, followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. Kevin Frazier of Entertainment Tonight and Jenn Brown of ABC Sports/ESPN will serve as co-hosts for the event.

Howland is an alumnus of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara and has been a longstanding supporter of the Boys & Girls Club movement. JoAnne and Jaime Hepp joined the club as volunteer mentors and have served on the board of directors at the Boys & Girls Club of Venice. Through their company’s non-profit arm, they have been active in engaging its employees in a variety of mentoring and leadership programs at the club.

“We are very excited to have Coach Howland and the Hepps as our honorees,” said dinner co-chair Julie Henley of Demand Media. “This event is a great way to support children and teens that need us to help guide them to a productive future.”

Past honorees have included Nancy and David Iben, FIDM, Margaret and David Lederer, Joey Baker, Michael Wise of JH Snyder Co., and Milton Swimmer of Swimmer Development.

Sponsorships and donation of auction items can be made by contacting, Aileen Martinez, development and marketing director at the Boys & Girls Club of Venice, at (310) 574-5053, or aileen@bgcv.org/.

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