Transportation to and from the Clubs is difficult for many families. Thanks to the generosity of John & Hope Reese, more Martin County youth have access to high yield learning programs at Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County. Our new 29 passenger bus allows families with limited transportation options in Indiantown, access to all the benefits of the Club experience— Club members can truly Ride with Hope. In addition to daily transportation, the bus transports Club members to and from sports league games and educational field trips. “Transportation opens up a world of new experiences and learning opportunities”, says John. “We were happy to be able to provide something so versatile that will impact the lives of so many for years to come.”
This spring, ten high school Club members and their chaperones traveled on our inaugural Great Futures Tour. Together with Teen Specialists, the teens planned a trip to explore post-high school opportunities including a tech school, college, service in the military, and a little bit of fun along the way. Club members were particularly excited about a trip to Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s headquarters in Atlanta and they weren’t disappointed; the group toured the facility, learning more about BGCA and their impact on millions of youth nationwide.
Participating teens wrote essays about their goals for the trip and life beyond high school. Abigail Satchell wrote, “College is the perfect opportunity for me to gain further training and certification in the tools I need to succeed as an artist. Graduating from college with a degree will play an important part in helping me get employed in the field of my choice.”
Life changing work happens at the Club every day and Phyllis and Bob Levin want it to stay that way. They began volunteering in their local Club in 2006, but wanted to do more. Working directly with Renee Booth, Chief Development Officer at BGCMC, the Levins funded two charitable gift annuities which will sustain programs, strengthen ties to the community, and bring hope and opportunity to future generations of Club Kids.
Phyllis recently spoke with us about her family’s philanthropic gifts and her commitment to helping people in her community. At 13, Phyllis volunteered with Meals on Wheels and she’s been giving back ever since. In 2006, Phyllis started volunteering at Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County, spending 2-3 afternoons per week with Club members. She was quick to help out where needed most and did everything from coaching on the tennis courts to tutoring students in math. In 2008, as a result of her dedication and selfless giving, she was honored as BGCMC’s Volunteer of the Year. Phyllis recently said, “I felt I touched someone every day -with something I’d say, or just a smile. I was truly rewarded with inner joy when I came to the Club to work with the kids; it’s just so special to be able to watch them grow.” Phyllis says her heart is here. We think she gave it away - to every child she tutored, every child who grew stronger and more confident because of her support, every Club kid who has a brighter future, because she made it possible for these children to learn and grow.
Michael B. Mukasey, 81st Attorney General of the United States, toured the Cole-Clark Club in Hobe Sound and met with Club members before his scheduled speech at our Fifth Annual Distinguished Speaker’s Luncheon at Sailfish Point Country Club
Club member Aristo Onassis accompanied the judge on the Club tour and shared his experience and information about Club programs focused on Academic Success, Good Character & Citizenship, and Healthy Lifestyles. In a Q & A session, Club members asked Mukasey questions such as how he started on his career path and what was his favorite part of the college experience. When asked “What worries you most about the future”, Judge Mukasey answered, “There won’t be enough people like the people in this room…When I listen to you folks, I am very encouraged about the future. I think this country has a tremendous amount of potential and a lot of it is right here in this room. It’s a remarkable thing, an inspiring thing.”
At the Luncheon, guests took part in an intimate meet & greet and gained a powerful perspective from Mukasey’s keynote address. Guests also received an autographed copy of Judge Mukasey’s book, Not a Crime, An Act of War: Understanding the Threat of 'Civilization Jihad'. Co-chairs Dr. Phil Schein and Ms. Carol Webb and Committee members Ann Louise Price, Linda Longstreet, Karen Croce, Pat Noonan, Ann Orr, Nancy Sharp, Bunny Wullschleger, Nancy Del Priore, Nancy Zappala and Heidi Cox worked tirelessly to create an interesting and engaging event. Thank you to the generosity of sponsors and community supporters Bank of America and Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Bousquette, Silver Sponsor URS Advisory Comprehensive Retirement Planning, Mr.& Mrs. Jonathan Colby, Heidi Cox, Michael Del Priore, Dr. & Mrs. Philip Schein, Ralph & Mabel Vogel, Ms. Carol Webb & D.K. Wemlinger and Nancy & Richard Zappala.