Strong Leaders, Strong ClubsSome 2,000 delegates kicked off the conference by recognizing extraordinary leadership within Boys & Girls Clubs. On Tuesday, May 1, BGCA inducted the 2012 class of Masters & Mentors and paid tribute to BGCA President Emeritus Roxanne Spillett for each recipient's longtime commitment to Boys & Girls Clubs and the youth they serve.
This year's inductees were Sydney Boyd -- Boys & Girls Clubs of America, George Krupanski -- Boys & Girls Clubs of Delware, Dr. Eliza Nesmith -- Airman and Family Services USAF, and Russell Triolo -- Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County, N.J.
A Time for CelebrationOn Wednesday, BGCA Chairman-elect Ron Gidwitz officially welcomed all of the attendees to BGCA's 106th Annual National Conferenceng while reminding us that the heart of every conference is people -- it is what makes us great. Past BGCA Chairman and longtime Governor Rick Goings then presented the Herbert Hoover Humanitarian Award, BGCA's highest recognition to a volunteer, to former Chairman Robbie Bach.
Goings noted Bach's ongoing involvement in his local Boys & Girls Club in Bellevue, Wash., even after he joined the National Board of Governors some years ago. He encouraged other national leaders to do the same.
"When you see a smile on a kid's face ... that's what Boys & Girls Clubs are all about," said Bach. "It is deeply humbling to play a small role in an amazing Movement."
A Time for FamilyBGCA's new President and CEO Jim Clark introduced his wife, Samatha, and their two boys, Chase and Grayson, to his new 4 million member Boys & Girls Club family. Clark discussed his vision for Boys & Girls Clubs and their members in which we make our three highest priorities outcome measurement and impact assessment, frenquency of attendance and child safety.
"We owe kids a high quality experience -- they deserve it," said Clark. "My dream is that all kids in America will have the same dreams and opportunity that my kids have."
A Whirlwind of OpportunitySince being selected as BGCA's National Youth of the Year in September, Nick Foley has met President Obama, spoken to 1,500 teens at the Keystone Conference, interviewed Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and more.
"Since that time, my life has been a whirlwind of opportunity," said Foley."I am proud to say I'm getting ready to graduate with honors from high school." Foley plans to enter Penn State in the fall and hopes to pursue a civil engineering degree.
But things haven't always looked so bright for Foley, who first took refuge in his hometown Club while in elementary school. He refers to his Club as his second home, his second family, due to the opportunities he received there.
"We owe each and every one of you an extreme amount of thanks because of what you do," Foley said to conference attendees. "From my early experiences, I knew there was something special about this place."
Your browser does not support iframes.
The Official Site of Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
© Boys & Girls Clubs of America. All Rights Reserved. The URL GreatFutures.org is generously donated by Vision Link.