Where has the time gone?
One would think that a deficit of blog entries might mean that nothing was really going on in our Clubs this summer. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
I have to admit that as I begin to compose this that I’m feeling a little guilty. My intention in creating this was to post every couple of weeks, and I certainly give my staff a hard time for not updating their web posts and social media, so I suppose I owe myself some disciplinary action of some sort.
The last three months are just a whirlwind. It really kicked-off with our Keys for Kids event at the end of June, followed shortly by a week in Los Angeles, CA with our Washington State Youth of the Year, Justice Lively. He represented our community and state quite well, but fell just shy of earning the title of Pacific Region Youth of the Year. It was perhaps in his loss that I became most proud of him; during the announcement, as the look of shock and disappointment registered on so many of his peers’ faces, Justice simply beamed his trademark smile, and as his arms seemed to grow by a matter of feet, he reached out, brought all his new friends in for a hug and provided comfort. That is the type of young men and women we are growing in Skagit County, to lead further generations through humility, perseverance, and strong modeling of positive character traits.
In early August we learned that an application to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for the state of Washington for funding that would establish two extension locations at Mount Baker and LaVenture Middle Schools in Mount Vernon was successful. We are one of just five agencies that were awarded funding, from more than 22 applications, in a highly competitive field. Just days later, as we huddled underneath a pavilion at Avalon Golf Links because a freak weather event had interrupted our 20th Annual Golf Tournament, we received a call from our friends at the Tesoro Corporation. Back in June, at our Keys for Kids event, they announced a $50,000 a year investment for three years to support STEM programs in our Clubs. At their Foundation Board meeting, it was decided to increase that investment – to $130,000 annually. The transformational possibilities are significant, and will allow us to grow our capacity and develop stronger infrastructure so that we can serve our current members better in this area, but also take our programs beyond the walls of our Clubhouses.
So, there it is. We’ve been a little busy, and somehow, we managed to also serve more than 30,000 meals to youth this summer. Our organization continues to grow and thrive thanks to the leadership of our Board of Directors and support from our community. We’re receiving attention from all over as a Boys & Girls Club agency on the rise, which just pushes us to work even harder on behalf of the 1,500+ youth we serve each year.