Bend FC Timbers selected as beneficiary for 2021 Gala

Riverhouse on the Deschutes has selected Bend FC Timbers as the beneficiary for the 2021 Gala, Bend’s premier black-tie event.

Held every two years, the Gala is the hotel’s way of supporting local nonprofits doing important work in the community.

Bend FC Timbers, the largest youth soccer organization in Central Oregon, was selected for its dedication to local youth and commitment to “pursuing greatness that instills a passion for life.” Bend FC Timbers will use proceeds of the 2021 Gala to support the second phase of construction of an all-season sports facility for Bend at Pine Nursery Park.

“As a committee, we really focused on the impact that participating in sports has on kids. It helps develop social, leadership and teamwork skills, while also promoting physical activity,” said David Lenke, general manager of Riverhouse on the Deschutes. “Bend FC Timbers is doing a tremendous job engaging youth at all levels of interest and ability, and BFCT Soccer Complex at Pine Nursery Park will be a real asset to Bend.

In addition to the potential economic impact generated by hosting more soccer tournaments and visiting teams, the year-round facilities will provide a quality venue for other youth and adult athletic programming in the region as well as for the public.”

The 2021 Gala will be held Jan. 18, 2021, at Riverhouse on the Deschutes.

Every two years Riverhouse on the Deschutes hosts the black-tie event and donates the venue, food, labor and production.

As a result, 100% of ticket sales reach the selected beneficiary, and since the event’s inception in 1993, the Gala has raised more than $2 million for Central Oregon nonprofits. In 2019 alone, the Gala raised more than a quarter of a million dollars for Bend Area Habitat for Humanity. Ticket pricing and purchase information for the 2021 Gala is to be announced.

Bend FC Timbers, a nonprofit that partners with the Portland Timbers, plans to use proceeds from the 2021 Gala to help fund phase II of an ambitious project to bring world-class, multi-purpose athletic fields to Bend. Phase I of BFCT Soccer Complex, the construction of two synthetic turf fields, is coming to a close, as the fields opened to players earlier this month.

The synthetic turf fields allow athletes to train and compete year-round, a difficult prospect on natural fields given Central Oregon’s climate.

Weather (including prolonged snow cover), lighting and lack of capacity have all limited playing time and hosting tournaments for youth soccer. Phase II of the project includes construction of an additional two synthetic fields.

“We are grateful for the community support BFCT Soccer Complex has received, and being selected as the 2021 Gala beneficiary further demonstrates how the mission of Bend FC Timbers is valued in our region,” said Tara Bilanski, executive director of Bend FC Timbers. “We serve about 3,200 soccer players, but BFCT Soccer Complex will be for everyone.

Our efforts to make this world-class space a reality have been underway since 2012, and it is extremely gratifying to see the excitement on our players’ faces as we begin to see the fruits of our labor. Partners like Riverhouse on the Deschutes are invaluable as we move into the final phases and into a new era for athletics in Bend.”


Join the Conversation

Top Local Stories