Imagine the anticipation and thrill of driving to Busch Gardens with your family for the first time, planning out the rides and attractions you will race to first. Feel the awe and wonder at realizing your own knowledge while learning to code. Picture the pride of sharing your works of art in a juried showcase for strangers to admire.
Those feelings and moments are what I am most thankful for this year. Thanks to you, our Club members were able to experience these things for the first time in their lives. 2017 has been a year of new opportunities thanks to all of our advocates, donors, volunteers, and staff.
This year was filled with big new opportunities, but each of them is only possible thanks to every single member of our Boys & Girls Clubs family. No matter how big or small a role you play, know that you have made a difference.
To our caring staff and volunteers, thank you for the countless hours you spend developing positive and caring relationships with Club members. You provide stability to so many children who may not find security in other areas of their lives. Thank you for filling a role in their lives that is so desperately needed.
Thank you to the volunteers, staff, and donors who have made our new Fine Arts Program possible. Our Club members look forward to practicing and working on their pieces. In January the best pieces were showcased in a juried exposition and the winning pieces were sent to a nation wide competition. Our kids were thrilled to show off their hard work and talent, and to have professional artists offer feedback and awards.
To our dedicated board members, thank you for endlessly advocating for our mission. You develop relationships and forge opportunities to help us serve more members, more often. Thank you for providing life-changing opportunities for our members.
To our generous donors, thank you for your continued support. Many of our members’ families are never charged a penny for our services. Your financial support means that thousands of youth have a home away from home full of caring and trusted mentors and friends. Thank you for helping us develop young children into caring, responsible, and productive citizens that go on to lead productive lives.
Thank you to Busch Gardens for donating admission tickets to our members. We were able to schedule family field trips so that our members could experience the excitement with their parents and siblings. Our teens especially enjoyed the spooky thrills of Hallowscream, and the younger kids got to ride roller coasters for the first time in their lives.
Thank you to the Shipyard for donating hundreds of laptops to our Club computer labs and for the grant that funds our STEM programs. This technology and funding has allowed our members to learn skills that will set them up for success. From building LEGO robots, to launching soda bottle rockets, to learning to code, our members will be ready to enter the workforce.
To our Club members both past and present, thank you for your tenacity, joy, and infectious spirit. Every day you teach us valuable lessons. Many of you have struggled with adversity in your young lives but have shown great courage in overcoming your obstacles. Thank you for acting as role models among your peers in the community and for leading the way through service, leadership, and scholarship.
Thank you to every member of our Boys & Girls Clubs family for Opening Doors to Great Futures in our community.
I wish you all a safe and happy holiday and hope you are fortunate enough to spend it with those you love.
With many thanks,
President & CEO
Boys & Girls Clubs