FARMINGTON — Leaders from across the tri-city community gathered at the Farmington Civic Center Friday evening for the San Juan County Mayors' Ball.

The event featured dinner, dancing and an auction to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Juan County. Ninety silent auction items were donated, and 340 guests attended.

"I would like to express how appreciative we are of our mayors for getting behind this important event that will help make our local nonprofits more sustainable," said Chris Garcia, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Juan County.

Organizations, businesses and individuals from around the community donated about $20,000 in auction items, she said.

"I'm happy to lend the position of Mayor of Farmington to efforts that are designed to benefit worthy programs in our community," said Farmington Mayor Tommy Roberts.

Garcia said that she is looking forward to being able to fund more mentoring services, in part with the proceeds raised from the ball.

"There are 105 children on our waiting list," she said. "It costs about $1,200 per year to mentor one child."

The total amount of money raised at the ball will be tallied next week, Garcia said.

Auction items included a variety of paintings, pottery, a 30-minute ride for two in San Juan Regional Medical Center's helicopter, gift baskets, jewelry, a fly-fishing trip and a Wines of the San Juan gift collection.

"It's a good cause," said Bloomfield Mayor Scott Eckstein. "It's nice to see people coming out and supporting something like this."

Eckstein said that the work Big Brothers Big Sisters does in the community is invaluable.

"I would rather see us as a community invest in our children on the front end, rather than on the back end," he said.

And for Eckstein, Friday night's festivities came with another benefit.

"You get to see people you haven't seen in a while," he said. "I really have to give Chris (Garcia) a lot of credit for approaching the mayors about this."

Aztec Mayor Sally Burbridge said that Big Brothers Big Sisters work in San Juan County sets the tone for the next generation of adults.

"I just think it's an amazing opportunity for the community to come out and support in a grand way, a program that helps build the future of our community," she said.

Greg Yee can be reached at; 505-564-4606. Follow him on Twitter @GYeeDT.