Breakfast for GREAT Kids Helps Clubs to Grow


Just a year after the community helped to break philanthropy records at the Annual Breakfast offered by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County, donor-investors responded en force upon learning that the organization has seen an increase in attendance of more than 30%, with the Mount Vernon Boys & Girls Club operating at 176% of capacity. The previous record for funds raised was set just last year, with just over $97,000 generated to provide programs and services to youth ages 6-18 in Anacortes, La Conner, Mount Vernon and Sedro-Woolley – up significantly from the $57,000 that was raised in 2013.
When creating the budget for 2015, Club officials held income projections to those received in 2014, simply because the event had already seen a significant increase. “It would’ve been irresponsible for us to do otherwise,” says Executive Director, Ron McHenry. “We look toward sustainability in practice, but nonetheless, this year we prepared our case statement to the community the best we could, and our all-stars – our kids – really delivered their message on behalf of all kids.”
The youth speakers, including Karen Gallardo from Anacortes, Ariana Harting from La Conner, Madisen Cork from Sedro-Woolley, and 2014 Youth of the Year Justice Lively from Mount Vernon, spoke of their personal story, impacting everyone in attendance. “Our youth and teens are the outcomes of our staff and program delivery, and the best testament we can provide about a return on investment,” McHenry said, beaming with pride over the results his cadre of Club kids managed to generate.
When the last guest left the building and results began being tabulated, the excitement in the air grew. With a tinge of emotion, McHenry addressed the volunteers assembled to send out postcards to attendees informing them of the success; “we’re just over $125,000.” And so the celebration continued.
“With these funds, we can look to increase our staffing ability to better meet the needs of our Clubs in Skagit County!”, exclaimed a rather excited Stephanie Hooper, recently installed Board President of the organization. “We are so thankful for the support from our community, and the confidence they have shown in our ability to deliver results in an ongoing manner. We can now work to alleviate our capacity issues relating to space, and serve more youth.”
BNSF Railways served as the Title Sponsor, increasing their own commitment by 50% from previous years, and underwriting the cost of the event completely, ensuring that all donations would go directly to make a change in the life of a child. With nearly 250 attending the Breakfast for GREAT Kids, the community voted with its feet, and because of the generosity, the Club will also be able to look at increasing capacity, specifically through a partnership with the Mount Vernon School District to respond to the needs of the youth who attend the facility co-located on the LaVenture Middle School Campus.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County has celebrated many successes in the last year, and they expect to continue to lead the way when possible, so a great change is affected in the community. To learn more about the Clubs, tours are being offered on Friday, March 27th at all locations in conjunction with National Boys & Girls Club week. Registration is available online at, with the Clubs open to the public between 4:00pm – 6:00pm for the occasion. More information can also be obtained by calling the Administration Center at 360-419-3723.

Photos from our Breakfast can be viewed on our Facebook Page.

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