The Fourth Annual Champion of Youth Gala benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Venice is scheduled Friday, October 2nd at The Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey.

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a reception and silent auction, followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. at the hotel, 4375 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey.

Playa del Rey residents Nancy and David Iben will be presented the Champion of Youth Award at the gala and the Corporate Leadership Award will be given to FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising). The event is presented by Nuveen Investments, Tradewinds Global Investors and The Macdonald Foundation.

“We deeply believe in the mission of the Boys & Girls Club of Venice and encourage every local business to support this wonderful event,” 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.”

Nancy and David Iben have been longstanding volunteers with the club. Nancy started as a counselor at the club, working with members and families on a variety of areas in youth and family development. David Iben is currently a member of the board of directors and serves as a vice president and treasurer. Last year, the Ibens established the Iben Family Support Center at the club, which provides year-round counseling services to members and their families free of charge.

FIDM was introduced to the club by current board member, Dena Stitt, who serves as an executive director at the institute. The FIDM interior design department was instrumental in the renovation of the club’s art center, dedicated in January, by providing pro bono interior design work and construction plans by professors and students, club officials say.

The institute has also provided the same services for the teen center renovation project, which is scheduled to be completed in 2010 upon completion of fundraising efforts.

“The Boys & Girls Club of Venice is a vibrant influence in the lives of young people,” said Stitt. “Nothing could be more important. It is a privilege for FIDM to be associated with such a dedicated organization.”

Proceeds from the event will go toward sponsoring scholarships for club members and enhancing core programs, such as the arts, character and leadership development, sports, fitness and recreation, and education.

Sponsorships, individual tickets and advertisements in the program book are still available. Individual tickets are $250, and ads for the event program start at $250 for a quarter-page. Donations in any amount may be made directly to the Boys & Girls Club of Venice in honor of the Ibens or FIDM, or in sponsorship of the teen center renovation project.

Information, Aileen Martinez, club director of development and marketing, at (310) 574-5053, or