Ballmer Group Commits Single Largest Institutional Gift In Woodcraft Rangers 100 Year History

Trailblazers Anthony Anderson, Angel City Football Club & Woodcraft Alum Carlos Gutierrez Were Honored

Performers & Guests Include: Mandy Moore, Lisa Loeb, Robin Thicke, Mo Welch, Steve Ballmer, Senator Richard Polanco, LAUSD Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, ESPN’s Liz Loza, DW3 Band, &
Woodcraft Rangers Folklorico and Mariachi Troops

LOS ANGELES, CA, June 17, 2023 – Woodcraft Rangers’ Campfire Affair Gala raised nearly $3 million dollars to support Woodcraft Rangers’ afterschool enrichment programs, summer day camps and Camp Woodcraft summer sleepaway camps.  It also celebrated the nonprofit’s 100-year anniversary serving five generations of Angeleno youth.

On behalf of Ballmer Group, Steve Ballmer (via video) announced a $2.5 million dollar grant to support Woodcraft Rangers as it heads into a second century of service.  This is the single largest institutional grant ever received in this 100-year-old organization’s history.

“Ballmer Group is committed to economic mobility and the kids and families of Los Angeles County,” said Steve Ballmer, Co-founder of Ballmer Group. “We applaud Woodcraft on your good work, and this celebrated milestone.”

The event honored actor and philanthropist Anthony Anderson and Angel City Football Club with Trailblazer Awards at its inaugural Campfire Affair Gala held on June 17 at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, CA.  Woodcraft Rangers Alum Dr. Carlos Gutierrez was honored with the Alumnus of the Century Award.

“Afterschool was a big part of my life, and the encouragement I received there taught me to be empowered,” said Anderson. “I’m touched that Woodcraft Rangers would choose me, just a boy from Compton, for this trailblazer award, and it humbles me.  I have always tried to live by example, and truly believe it is our job as adults to uplift the next generation of kids and teach them to dream.”

The event was held at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu. Hosted by comedian Mo Welch and speakers include: Woodcraft Rangers Ambassador Mandy Moore (via video), Senator Richard Polanco, LAUSD Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and ESPN’s Liz Loza. GRAMMY-winning singer, songwriter, and summer camp champion Lisa Loeb  gave a special performance leading with Woodcraft Rangers’ new signature song “Oh, Camp Woodcraft!”. Singer and Songwriter Robin Thicke, along with Grammy-nominated vocal group DW3, performed while guests dance under the stars.  Sponsors of the event include: Haute Explore, The Hurst Family Foundation, Whittier Trust, Derrington Family Foundation, Root Literary and Cornerstone Wealth“The stars were aligned at our Campfire Affair Gala!  We are incredibly grateful to our honorees, presenters, perfumers, our Woodcraft Rangers kids and all of our guests,” said Julee Brooks, Woodcraft Rangers CEO. “And with generous support from charitable individuals, like Steve and Connie Ballmer, Woodcraft Rangers assures we provide Los Angeles kids the spark they need find their pathway in life, and this community support propels us into our next century of service.”

Generous donor and community support is vital to continue Woodcraft Rangers’ mission.  For sponsorship and or corporate partner opportunities contact Christy Moody at 213-699-6508 or cmoody@woodcraftrangers.org.  To donate and learn more about how to get involved visit woodcraftrangers/campfire-affair.org

Proceeds from the Gala benefit Woodcraft Rangers enrichment programs and support camp scholarships to give more Los Angeles kids the opportunity for a sleepaway experience at Camp Woodcraft. At least 50% of Woodcraft campers receive scholarships to attend camp.

Campfire Affair Co-Chairs Will Adams, Celeste Ahl, Steve Canup, Eric Derrington, Ivy Draughan, Mike Hurst, Brandi Jordan, Francisco Lozano, Marie Pavlich, Courtney Smith Wiesmore, Jon Sweet, Carter W. Thicke, Marin Turne

Campfire Affair Host Committee Peter Anderson, Julee Brooks, Ellen Chiang, Carlos Gutierrez, Que-Lam Huynh, Kathleen Laub, Wayne Mack, Kimberly West Isaacs

More about our Awardees

Anthony Anderson, Emmy-nominated for his leading role as Andre “Dre” Johnson in ABC’s multi-award nominated sitcom “black-ish,” has long been a champion of youth empowerment and an active community advocate and philanthropist for his hometown of Los Angeles. He uses the hashtag #justakidfromcompton on social media to stay connected to his roots and be a role model for the next generation of kids who come from similar backgrounds. He also proudly serves on the GOOD+ Foundation’s Fatherhood Leadership Council and was recently inducted into the Class of 2017 Boys & Girls Club of America National Alumni Hall of Fame.

Angel City Football Club, established in 2020, is Los Angeles first women’s professional soccer team in over a decade.  Founded by Natalie Portman, Kara Nortman and Julie Uhrman, this dynamic club is transforming the landscape of women’s sports; a new model where empowerment and equity are at the center.  The team donates 10% of every sponsorship back directly into local community programs, including a number of youth-based initiatives to advance health, physical fitness and inclusion.

Dr. Carlos Gutierrez, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at California State University, Los Angeles, has received numerous accolades, including the highly prestigious CASE/Carnegie U.S. Professors of the Year Award and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. He served as director of the LA Minority Access to Research Careers for two decades where he fostered undergraduate interest in science, especially among underrepresented minority groups.   He is credited with mentoring hundreds of students through National Institute of Health-funded programs and the Bridges to the Doctorate program. Dr. Gutierrez was a Woodcraft Ranger from 1958-1960 at Norwood Street Elementary School.

Woodcraft Rangers was founded in 1922 by Ernest Thompson Seton. Woodcraft made a distinct mark from other youth organizations by its early commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. From the start, Woodcraft challenged the norm by opening its programs to all children from every race, religion and socioeconomic background. Today, Woodcraft Rangers serves 20,000 youth ages 4-18 annually at afterschool enrichment programs, summer day camps and overnight camps. For more information, visit www.woodcraftrangers.org