Many of you had the pleasure of attending our Youth of the Year Dinner & our Dinner with Friends events, and were inspired by the personal stories told by our Youth of the Year program participants. Our Annual Campaign will continue up to our Annual Breakfast on March 15, where we will celebrate our work together. We humbly ask that you consider a contribution, and spread the word about the GREAT legacy of Clubs.
As part of its commitment to enrich the lives of children in the community, Draper Valley Farms has awarded a $7,500 grant to help Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County provide at-risk children a foundation for achieving healthy lifestyles.
Through its Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, the Draper Valley grant will fund the Boys & Girls Clubs programs, with special focus on Healthy Lifestyles. The Healthy Lifestyles initiative — one of three Priority Outcomes at the Club — engages youth in constructive learning activities that stress the importance of healthy eating, maintaining a balanced diet, practicing self-control when making food choices and decisions, and the importance of pursuing and maintaining habits that are constructive. The other Priority Outcomes programs focus on academic success and good character and citizenship.
“As we are serving at capacity (averaging more than 100 children per day), we see an incredible demand in Mount Vernon for positive, structured programming after-school and during the summer, and we deliver the best programs, with incredible results,” said Angela Freeberg, area director in Mount Vernon. “Partnering with Draper Valley, and our other community supporters, we are able to bring that impact to the kids who need us.”
“For many years, the Boys and Girls Club of Skagit County has been a strong educational and community partner in Mount Vernon and throughout the county,” said Mark Knight, Draper Valley Farms’ director of operations. “We are committed to making a difference in the community through partnerships like this, and proud to continue our support so that area children, including those of some of our own associates, learn the value of a healthy lifestyle.”
As Boys & Girls Clubs CEO Ron McHenry explains, “With the support of Draper Valley Farms, there is a great opportunity to continue teaching our youth about what goes into their food, what is involved in local farming, and what impact a great local business is able to have on the community. Going beyond the short chats about eating a balanced diet, this type of support from Draper Valley enables us to talk forcefully about why our priority outcomes programs matter in the lives of our youth, and in our community.
Healthy Lifestyles ultimately deals with choices and commitments, and what those choices can help the program accomplish. “When we ask our kids what it means to commit to health, they come to understand that the question is much more than just a discussion of food. As we center each of our Club activities to be fun and engaging, but also formative, in terms of their character, skills, and appreciation of the world around them, we establish the focus on how all three outcomes are united, and can lead to incredible results.”
Operating after-school each day, all six Clubs located in Anacortes, La Conner, Mount Vernon, and Sedro Woolley, are seeing incredible numbers since the start of the school year, according to McHenry.
“The support from Draper Valley Farms is a great example of how the partnership between local businesses and the Clubs serve the youth, create the opportunity for collaboration, and enable much greater discussion about the different jobs, skills, and demands there are throughout the community.”
About the Boys and Girls Clubs of Skagit County
At the Boys and Girls Clubs of Skagit County, our mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us the most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens. Our core belief is that each of our four clubs provides our members a safe place to learn and grow, ongoing relationships with caring, adult professionals, life-enhancing programs, character development experiences, and hope and opportunity. The Clubs serve more than 1,600 youth at facilities in Anacortes, La Conner, Mount Vernon and Sedro-Woolley. To learn more about the Boys and Girls Clubs, visit www.skagitclubs.org.
About Draper Valley Farms
Draper Valley Farms has been a Northwest tradition since 1935, and today we remain singularly focused on providing carefully raised, fresh, local chicken to the Northwest. Our brands include DRAPER VALLEY FARMS® organic chicken, RANGER® free-range chicken and DRAPER VALLEY FARMS® no-antibiotics-ever chicken. With farms in Washington and Oregon, a feed mill in Washington and our processing plant in Mount Vernon, Washington, our chicken is raised, locally processed and locally available. To learn more, visit drapervalleyfarms.com.
Dinner with Friends is each Club’s kickoff event for our Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County Youth of the Year Program, and an opportunity to recognize and honor Club kids. Hosted by our members, you’ll experience presentations by our Skagit County Youth of the Year hopefuls, among others, and enjoy a lovely dinner. Tickets are available online for each event(use the menu on the right), or RSVP to Ian Faley at email@example.com or 360-419-3723×7.
Boys & Girls Club members recently made a visit to Cargill Animal Nutrition, in Burlington, to thank the staff team there for the renewed $3,500 investment on behalf of the 1,600+ youth members who attend the after-school & summer programs at the Clubs. Meeting with the manager, Andrew St. Lawrence, and many others from the mill team, Club members were able to talk about their favorite programs, what brought them to the Clubs, and the impact that they saw through the Club opportunities. “We share a common, and central passion—healthy lifestyles, and a grounded understanding of nutrition, and its effect on our wellbeing. Cargill has been a great partner,” John Garman, the Clubs’ Director of STEM Initiatives, remarked. “It’s great to work with companies who share our passion for youth, who focus on the healthy lifestyles of our communities, and who focus on nutritional science—from animals to people.”
Cargill Animal Nutrition, as an international leader in agriculture, nutrition, and feed products has been operating for more than 150 years. With a local mill operating in Burlington, and providing innovative animal nutrition solutions for most of the region, Cargill is one of the lead feed producers in Skagit County. The Boys & Girls Clubs’ partnership with Cargill is focused on Healthy Lifestyles programs, and reinforcing the habits & discussion of what leads to healthy lives, and healthy communities.”
Do you have a passion for helping? Do you love to cook? Maybe you really love sharing your interest in photography. Or you would love to help design a youth community service project. If you have a passion for youth, a passion for serving your community, and interest in helping to teach others, we need you! With the return to school, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County are calling all volunteers to come & help make our Club programs great. Open after-school Monday-Friday, from 2:45pm- 6:00pm, our Clubs serve youth ages 6-18. All programs run for 30-60 min, and fall under Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyles, and Good Character & Citizenship. We would love to include you! Contact Katelynn Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 360-419-3723 x8.
As a wrap up and celebration of the Club’s first program year of increasing STEM activities and programming, 31 teens were able to participate in a College Tour Road Trip. Thank you to Tesoro Corp. for sponsoring STEM programming at the Clubs and giving these these teens the opportunity to explore the colleges, universities, and trade schools of the Pacific Northwest.
Early Monday morning, August 15th, 2016, 31 Club teens and nine staff embarked on a journey of academic exploration through Washington, Idaho, Montana, and back in order to inspire their futures. Beginning with a visit of the Central Washington University campus and continuing on to Perry Technical Institute to learn what tech and trade schools are all about, teens learned that they don’t have to go far from home to obtain a post-secondary education. Other schools visited included Boise State University, Eastern Idaho Tech, Montana State University, University of Montana, and Eastern Washington University. It was eye opening and inspiring to hear what the teens had to say about each school; “This campus is beautiful, I could really see myself going here.” “This is the program I want to be in.” “I had no idea that this was even a thing.” “When’s lunch?” Out of all of the schools visited, Club members were most impressed with University of Montana and Eastern Washington University, not only because they have great programs, but also because the campuses are incredible and beautiful.
Another aspect of this trip was to meet new people, visit new places, and experience new things. This would have been a much different trip without help from friends of the Clubs. Thanks to the generosity of other Boys & Girls Clubs and friends of the community, the group had places to stay overnight and were well cared for. The Boys & Girls Club of Prosser, WA arranged an overnight location for everyone and also planned a BBQ dinner and exclusive swimming pool time at the aquatics center next to their Club. Thank you to new friends at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Magic Valley, ID for allowing the group to overnight in their amazing clubhouse and arranging for the group to shower up after a long day on the road. Reaching out to old friends of the Sedro-Woolley Club, the group had a place to stay in Bozeman, MT before touring MSU; thank you Shawna and Michael Wright who used to volunteer with the Sedro-Woolley Club.
As a special bonus on the trip, the group was able to spend some time at Yellowstone National Park and was able to view the Old Faithful geyser erupting and explore the visitor and education center at the park. The group was also able to make a special stop for lunch at the Petrified Forest State Park in Vantage, WA and discover what the park had to offer before their final trek home.
Things to look forward to: the Clubs are implementing a newly developed Tesoro STEM Academy program for the school year and have already begun plans for next summer’s college trip to include STEM programs and careers in Oregon, plus a special experience to witness a total solar eclipse in Newport, OR to kickoff the next adventure.
Photos from the trip are available on our Flickr photo album.
A newly commissioned study by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) found that Clubs are a sound investment, providing more than $12 in benefits to the community for every dollar invested.
The study, conducted by the Institute for Social Research and the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan, found that every dollar invested in Boys & Girls Clubs returns $12.29 in current and future earnings, as well as cost-savings, to communities in Washington State. The biggest benefits are from Club members’ improved grades and reduced alcohol use and their parents’ earnings. Collectively, Clubs spend $1.4 billion annually on operating costs, resulting in $13.8 billion in lifetime benefits to youth, families and society.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County has been serving the youth who need us most for nearly 20 years. By providing programs that focus on Academic Success, Good Character and Citizenship, and Healthy Lifestyles, Clubs have helped generations of young people achieve the great futures they deserve. Every year Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County spends $1.6 million on operating costs for six Club locations, creating $19,664,000 in economic benefits to youth, families, and the community.
“We were thrilled, but not surprised, to receive the results of this study. We have long known how valuable Clubs are to our community, but it’s great to have independent confirmation of the benefits Clubs provide, not only to young people, but to their parents and the community as well,” said Ron McHenry, CEO and Executive Director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County
The study is the first national return on investment estimate for Boys & Girls Clubs. Researchers made use of newly available youth outcomes data, collected through surveys of Club members across the country, to examine how the costs required to provide Club programming compare to the long-term benefits for youth and families in economic terms.
The study indicates that Boys & Girls Club services and programs produce tremendous value for youth, families and their communities. Clubs help increase the earning power of parents, as well as of youth when they become adults. They also contribute to major savings for society by helping to prevent costly expenditures for health care, public assistance programs, and criminal justice system involvement and incarceration.
Club members were rewarded for regular attendance through the 2015-2016 school year with brand new bicycles, made possible by Odyssey Teams and Shell Refinery.
Fifteen of the highest attending Club Members were taken on a surprise field trip in late May to the Skagit Valley Casino, where unbeknownst to them, a team from Shell Refinery had been busy building bikes as part of an advanced leadership training provided by Odyssey Teams. Part of Odyssey’s unique approach on leadership and team building is to have groups assemble bicycles. Those bikes are then given to local youth selected by the client, in this case, Shell refinery.
The “big reveal” went both ways, as the teams building the bikes, didn’t know who they were for. Kids and staff gathered to enjoy snacks while pontificating on what the surprise might be. “I’m happy there is cheese,” said one Club member. “I’m the Cheesemaster!” That got everyone laughing, even though, they were trying so hard to be quiet.
Their patience was rewarded as they entered the room each holding a number that corresponded with their bike building team. Club members were slightly in shock, turning to glee, as they took in the news. Shell employees spent time with Club members, getting to know them and helping them try out their new bikes.
For most these Club members this is their first new bicycle or it replaces a hand-me-down bicycle from an older sibling. Along with the bicycle, they received a new helmet and bike lock. All bikes were inspected by mechanics from Skagit Cycle.
“We’re very thankful to Shell for selecting the Boys & Girls Club to be the recipient of the bikes. All the members who received a bike come to their local Club nearly every day it’s open, throughout the school year. We are happy to make a difference in their lives, as they make a difference in ours.”, said Noah Bannister, Director of Operations.