Oct 05

Bob Kesling Honored for Volunteer Work by Boys & Girls Clubs of America

IMG_8695 (800x655)

University of Tennessee Vol Network lead announcer Bob Kesling received a prominent national award from the Tennessee Area Council of Boys & Girls Club of America at its annual meeting in Knoxville, Tennessee. Kesling was awarded one of the highest honors that an individual volunteer can receive from Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Man & Youth Award. This award honors the exceptional passion that Kesling displays for the Boys & Girls Club movement with particular emphasis on Clubs in the state of Tennessee.

Kesling is very active in the Knoxville community and he and his wife Tami are parents of two daughters, Allison and Melissa. We all know Kesling as the Voice of the Volunteers, but for the youth at Boys & Girls Clubs across the state of Tennessee; they know him as a true Volunteer. Kesling was presented with the prestigious Man & Youth award during the Tennessee Boys & Girls Clubs Hall of Fame Dinner for his continued dedication and support to the Boys & Girls Club movement across the state of Tennessee. He has rendered exceptional service of passionately promoting the principles of the Boys & Girls Club movement to other board members, organizations and to the general public. He has served as a leader in interpreting and promoting Boys & Girls Club programs to others and has rendered professional and consultative support to Clubs across the state. His involvement has demonstrated passion and commitment to Tennessee’s youth.

Kesling has been a big part of the Boys & Girls Club movement throughout the state often being the guest speaker at various clubs’ events; however, his most notable work is in Greeneville and Knoxville where he has helped with dinners, golf tournaments, and various other activities. In Knoxville, Kesling has served as the master of ceremonies for the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame event and is a past chairman of the event’s board. He is a past chairman for the Knox County United Way’s fundraising campaign and is also involved with many other Knox County organizations. He has spoken at Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the state and for the Tennessee State Clubs annual dinner. Most notably, Kesling has been a tremendous aide to the activities of the Boys & Girls Club of Greeneville & Greene County. When asked over a decade ago if the Club could put his name on their annual Golf Classic by Bullington and board member, Steve Mears (son of legendary University of Tennessee Basketball Coach Ray Mears) to help raise interest in their local event, Kesling agreed, but stated that he did not want to be just a name, he wanted to help with the entire event, and help he did. Kesling has driven to Greeneville dozens of times over the last several years to promote and organize the event and has never missed a golf committee meeting. “Bob helps in all aspects for the golf event from start to finish and has been a driving force behind its tremendous success,” stated Scott Bullington, executive Director for the Boys & Girls Club of Greeneville & Greene County. With Kesling’s support, the local tournament fields a group of golfers and celebrities each year. Many of those celebrities are former Volunteers greats such as Condredge Holloway, Eddie Brown, Dale Ellis, Reggie Johnson, Bobby Majors, Larry Seivers, Johnny Majors, Bobby Scott, Dewey Warren, Dane Bradshaw, John Ward and the list goes on. The Bob Kesling Boys & Girls Club Celebrity Golf Classic is one of the biggest tournaments in our region each year and has raised well over a half million for the Club’s programs and activities. “His association with the Boys & Girls Club has been priceless and he is a true “Volunteer” not only in his orange and white but, in the eyes of a child,” added Bullington.

Kesling is the Director of Broadcasting at the University of Tennessee and has been the lead announcer of the Vol Network since the fall of 1999. He is the radio play-by-play voice for Tennessee football and basketball on the Vol Network and also hosts “The Butch Jones Show” and the “The Rick Barnes Show” for the Vol Network television distribution. On Monday nights, he is the host of “Vol Calls” the weekly radio call-in show on the Vol Network. In addition to his on the air work for the Vol Network, he represents the University of Tennessee at various events and functions throughout the southeast and the nation. In his role as Director of Broadcasting, Kesling oversees production of radio and television programming for the University. He also works with UT student-athletes to help them develop communications and public relations skills. Kesling wears many hats in his work with the University of Tennessee, but he seems to be making quite an impact of the youth of Tennessee by being a true Tennessee Volunteer.

Read the original article here: http://www.utsports.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/100215aac.html


Sep 01

Maury County Youth Lemonade Stands Sparks Challenge for Boys & Girls Club

web1_BG-Donation-from-Molder-Hickman-Lemonade-Stand_1771_swtTwo Maury County youngsters made a sweet gesture with proceeds from their lemonade stand. Parkes Hickman, 3, daughter of Blair and Andrew Hickman, and Marley Mac Molder, 5, daughter of Elizabeth and Chaz Molder, sold lemonade for more than three hours outside of Itty Bitty Children’s Boutique on West 8th Street in Columbia. The girls raised $119 Saturday and decided to donate all their earnings to the Boys and Girls Club of Maury County. “Parkes made the decision initially to donate the money. And, even after they were asked at the end of their sale what they wanted to do with the money, they decided they wanted to donate to the Boys and Girls Club just down the street,” Chaz Molder wrote in an email. Parkes’ grandmother, Pam Hickman, is on the BGCMC board, and Chaz Molder is a former member. Both girls have been exposed to the club from a very early age, Molder wrote. “Obviously, we are so proud of these two. They are learning at a very early age that it is important to give back to their community,” Molder said in the email. “I hope, and pray, they continue to know the importance of giving back to the community and to others.”

The little girls’ donation to B&G Club sparked a match challenge: Robyn Peery, Boys and Girls Club development director, accepted a donation from Marley Mac Molder, 5, and Parkes Hickman, 3, which was the proceeds from their recent lemonade stand, as reported Monday, Aug. 24 in The Daily Herald. Molder and Hickman gave $119 earned from the lemonade stand to the charity, which they chose. The following people have matched their donation: Parkes’ grandfather Russ Parkes, Marley’s parents Chaz and Elizabeth Molder, and Terry and Kathie Whitwell. They hope to challenge others to match the little girls’ donations to the club.

Read the original stories here: http://columbiadailyherald.com/news/local-news/lemonade-stand-nets-big-loving-donation



Jul 13

Local kids go for the gold at Boys & Girls Clubs Olympics

ETSU's Power Forward Hanner Perea waits for the rebound for a tiny member of the Olympics team from the Sevier County Boys & Girls Club An Olympic effort Assistant Basketball Coach Jeff Clapacs and a squad of Buccaneer basketball team members helped open the games with a pep talk with the kids.







The first regional Boys & Girls Clubs Olympics brought about 400 kids from clubs in eight East Tennessee counties together Thursday for field day activities in East Tennessee State University’s mini-dome.

Antonio Goss, the former San Francisco 49er and new ETSU football special teams coach; Jeff Clapacs, director of ETSU’s basketball operations; and a squad of five Buccaneer basketball team members welcomed the kids to the campus and opened their games with a pep talk.

Goss showed the kids his Super Bowl ring and told them he began his sports career just as they are doing now.

“I started just like you all. I wanted to come out and be with my friends, play sports and compete.”

Clapacs introduced them to ETSU teammates Peter Jurkin, Hanner Perea, Petey McClain, A.J. Merriweather and Lester Wilson and gave them the news that the players would be joining them on the court along with one sage bit of advice.

“Get out there and give it all you got,” he said.

Scott Bullington, director of the Greeneville/Greene County Boys & Girls Club, said the kids came from as far away as Jefferson City to take part in the event.

Made possible by the sponsorships of four area Hudson Auto dealerships, the day included basketball, football, baseball and soccer competitions as well as traditional field day sack races, sprints, and wheelbarrow and three-legged races.

There was also a noontime trek across the ETSU campus for a big buffet lunch for the children in the D.P. Culp Center’s cafeteria to keep the kids fueled, and to top off the day, a closing awards ceremony with the ETSU coaches to recognize their individual accomplishments.

“This is for them to have a fun day of activities at a beautiful college campus with other children from around the region,” Bullington said.

“Just having this fellowship with kids from other clubs and learning some sportsmanship, that’s all this is about.”

Read the original story here: http://www.johnsoncitypress.com/article/127868/local-kids-go-for-the-gold-at-boys-and-girls-clubs-olympics

Jul 07

Boys & Girls Club Receives Two National Marketing Awards


The Boys & Girls Club of Greeneville & Greene County received two Boys & Girls Clubs of America National Marketing & Communications Awards recognizing their clubs brand-building programs at a ceremony held during Boys & Girls Clubs of America National Conference in Chicago, Illinois May 13th through the 15th, 2015. The event hosted almost 2,500 club professionals and board members from across the United States and abroad. The Club received a National Silver Award in the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Initiatives & Special Events for the marketing and programming of National Boys & Girls Club Week and activities. In addition, the Club received a National Bronze Award in the Social Media category.

“We are very fortunate to have such a dedicated staff and volunteer base that works hard to provide a top notch organization that excels in programs, special events and the marketing of these events” stated Rebecca Tipton, Board President for the local Club. “Scott Bullington and Whitney Thomas have done an excellent job on our marketing plan to help the Club continue to expand and grow,” Tipton added.

This year BGCA divided the normal three-prong budget levels into just two levels, Level I: less than $1,000,000 or Level II: more than $1,000,000. The Club was placed in the less than $1,000,000 budget level, placing them against organizations with large marketing budgets.

“It is quite impressive for an organization with an annual budget of $600,000 to win awards of this magnitude while competition against organizations with a much larger budget, especially when all marketing efforts are done In-House,” said Josh Swatzell, Marketing Chairman and Club Board Member.

The Club’s Silver Award for Boys & Girls Clubs of America Initiatives & Special Events was won for their dual strategic approach in their marketing and programming efforts during National Boys & Girls Club Week. The Club integrated the BGCA’s theme “Open the Door: Take the Tour” throughout its weekly activities which included: “Open the Door to the Arts,” “Open the Door to Healthy Lifestyles,” and “Open the Door: Take the Tour.”

The Club’s Bronze Award in Social Media was won for their informative and interactive social media sites. The Club uses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to connect with their audience on a daily basis. All social media accounts keep the community up to date on programs, activities and events. In addition to social media sites, The Club also sends out several web blasts throughout the year for a detailed look into what the organization does.

Bullington stated that he wanted to thank several individuals that helped with the club’s overall marketing plan during the year including Nata Jackson, Josh Swatzell, Chelsey Carter and Lisa Webb. He also expressed great appreciation to members of The Greeneville Sun, The Greeneville Neighbor, Radio Greeneville and WJHL 11 Connects for running the club PSA releases and articles throughout the year. “We could not achieve our Club success without the efforts of many great volunteers and the fantastic assistance from our local media outlets,” added Bullington.

Jul 07

Boys & Girls Club Board Member Receives Area Council Leadership 2015 Outstanding Achievement Award

10479231_10153358891603408_3707598658979747375_nBoys & Girls of America President Jim Clark presented Dr. David Ratliff with the prestigious Area Council Leadership 2015 Outstanding Achievement Award for his leadership and dedication as Area Council Liaison for Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains with Boys & Girls Club Tennessee Alliance.

Area Councils have been an important and powerful force in the Boys & Girls Club Movement since 1944. Area Councils provide the chief medium for securing and maintaining the interest and active participation of board volunteers in national and regional Boys & Girls Club affairs.

Dr. David Ratliff has been a board member of the Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains for seventeen years. Dr. Ratliff has chaired the Board Development committee for Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains for over fifteen years. He currently holds the positon of CBO President for Tennessee Boys & Girls Clubs. Dr. Ratliff was named Area Council Liaison of the year in 2014. Due to his hard work and dedication Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains has one of the strongest boards in the Boys & Girls Club movement nationwide.

The Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains is a leadership and character development program that serves roughly 1600 Sevier County youth (age 6 – 18). For more information on the Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains, visit their website at www.bgcsmoky.com.

Jul 06

Boys & Girls Club of Dumplin Valley Receives Tennessee Award for Teen I.D. Program

13225_1041832012498108_6600194654943229263_nThe Boys & Girls Club of Dumplin Valley received the Tennessee Award for Program Excellence for their Character & Leadership Development program, “Teen I.D”. The club was presented with the Honor Award for Program Excellence by Chet Nichols, Director of Organizational Development for Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

Teen I.D is a unique, specialized program designed exclusively for middle school and high school students.  Teen I.D is unique because it was designed with the passions and desires of middle school and high school students in mind. Teen I.D stands for ‘Teen Identity’ and seeks to assist students in developing a positive, self-sufficient social and personal identity. The program’s statement of purpose is as follows: Empowering students through mentorship, civic engagement, and discussion based learning.

Teen I.D. is founded on three key tenants: Leadership, friendship and education. The leadership tenant of the Teen I.D program focuses on the unique position of the middle school and high school students within the Boys & Girls Club.  They have experience and knowledge that can be passed on to the younger members of the Boys & Girls Club.  They are all in positions of influence and by highlighting their role as leaders and challenging them to take up leadership roles within the Boys and Girls Club, they are able to positively impact their peers as well as younger members. The friendship tenant of the Teen I.D program strives to highlight the importance of positive relationships.  Through team building exercises and specific exercises challenging the group to support and rely on one another, Teen I.D strives to instill a greater sense of community within the group. The education tenant of Teen I.D strives to promote a desire to learn and be informed about what is happening in their local and international communities.  This is accomplished by assisting the group in staying informed about current issues and having discussions regarding issues that pertain to each individual student, which can be a relatable subject with others.

The curriculum of the program focuses on: College preparation, short-term and long-term goal setting, presenting the students with real life scenarios, discussion based learning, practical financial literacy through the Money Matters curriculum, SAT/ACT preparation, community service projects that benefit the local community, and team building exercises.

Accomplishing such a wide range of goals such as: Financial management skills, being prepared for life after high school, and realistic goal setting, can only be achieved by using community resources.  Teen I.D is privileged to have Carson-Newman University Federal Work Study students, and Bonner Scholars assisting in mentoring and teaching much of the curriculum to the students. A great deal of our Money Matters financial literacy program during the Fall 2014 semester was taught by Bonner Scholars who are seeking Bachelor’s degrees in Finance and Business. By utilizing these valuable resources, the students within the Teen I.D program are able to receive specialized curriculum and develop relationships with college students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of high school and middle school students.

The results of the program include an increase of average daily attendance and a decrease of negative behavior. The Fall semester average daily attendance for middle and high school students improved by 8.49% compared to the Spring semester. The total difference in the average number of days students attended out of the total possible days in the Fall semester compared to the Spring semester was 10 days. There is a significant increase in average daily attendance when comparing the data from before the Teen I.D program started and after.

Looking at the data the overall amount of behavior reports decreased by 12 reports from the three months prior to the start of the Teen I.D program.  Since the beginning of the Teen I.D program, there have been no more behavior reports for fighting and, aside from one isolated incident, no major issues with our most at-risk group.

Jul 06

Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Tennessee Awarded for Education & Career Development Program

2015 Program Award

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Tennessee received the Tennessee Award for Program Excellence for their Education & Career Development program, “CSI (Crime Scene Investigation)”. The Club was presented with the Honor Award for Program Excellence by Chet Nichols, Director of Organizational Development for Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

In a community where our youth see the law enforcement as unfair and against the entire community, they do not relate to them and do not view the law enforcement field as a career option, much less as a desirable one.  The CSI program seeks to change the negative perceptions some youth may hold of law enforcement officials and the law enforcement field. The camp hopes to change the attitudes and create positive relationships that will translate to more peaceful communities.

The CSI program is designed to enhance Club members, between the ages of 9 and 11 years, in problem-solving, deductive reasoning and critical-thinking skills through science that is fun. The program is also designed to foster positive relationships between law and youth officials. Some of the youth hold negative perceptions of law enforcement officials and as a result are unaware of career opportunities in that field.

In a result of the program: 50 third through fifth graders attended the program 95% of the time or more, and of those 50 Club members 100% felt that the CSI program was fun. Through the CSI camp 90% of members learned something new. Additionally, 100% of parents felt that their child had a positive experience with the program, as well as would like for their children to participate in the program again. Staff who were involved in the CSI program stated that children who attended the CSI camp in the summer had a much smoother transition back to school, and that 85% of parents reported that CSI helped their child academically. Lastly, community partners stat that of the children who attended the CSI camp in the summer 75% showed a great interest in pursuing a career in some field of law enforcement.


Jul 06

Boys & Girls Club of Pulaski Recieves Tennessee Award for Program Excellence

Boys Girls OpporTUNE AwardThe Boys & Girls Club of Pulaski received the Tennessee Award for Program Excellence for their Arts program, “OpporTUNEity Program”. The Club was presented with the Honor Award for Program Excellence by Chet Nichols, Director of Organizational Development for Boys & cGirls Clubs of America.

The OpporTUNEity Program is a co-curricular service learning project that provides at-risk youth with a unique opportunity to receive piano lessons and mentoring from undergraduate piano students in a supervised, one on one setting. In place less than a year, the program benefits both Martin Methodist College students who receive work study funds, as well as valuable experience as an instructor and fifteen local Club members at the Boys & Girls Club of Pulaski who are able to explore their interest in the Arts.

“The OpporTUNEity program is the perfect intersection of campus and community,” Martin Methodist College President Dr. Brown said. “Dr. Martiros’ program is about engaging student piano instructors with deserving youth at our local Boys & Girls Club. It is the mission of Martin Methodist College in action.”

Jul 06

Boys & Girls Club of Greeneville & Greeene County Wins Award for Program Excellence


The Boys & Girls Club of Greeneville & Greene County received the Tennessee Award for Program Excellence for their Health & Life Skills program, “Healthy Choices Equals a Healthier You”. The club was presented with the Honor Award for Program Excellence by Chet Nichols, Director of Organizational Development for Boys &Girls Clubs of America.

“We are honored to receive this type of recognition on the state level,” Executive Director Scott Bullington said, “We are proud to offer the youth of Greeneville & Greene County many opportunities to participate in programs focused on improving their health and developing their life skills.”

Throughout the year Club members participate in a variety of field trips, programs and activities that are geared toward making healthy and smart choices. The Boys & Girls Club partners with the UT Extension-Master Gardeners, the Greene County Health Department, East Tennessee State University Nursing and Dental Hygiene students, Change is Possible Domestic Violence Shelter, the Greeneville Police Department, the Greeneville Fire Department and many other wonderful local organizations.

Goals of the “Healthy Choices Equals a Healthier You” program include promoting physical activity and education, educating youth on nutritional choices, and promoting access to programs that focus on youth well-being and the development of positive behaviors.

To spread the Club’s theme “Healthy Choices Equals a Healthier You” to the community, the Boys & Girls Club helped host the 2015 Youth Summit, an event to promote physical activity, encourage students to make smart food choices and live a lifestyle free of drugs and tobacco. This program was brought to almost 800 eighth grade students from surrounding middle schools by the Boys & Girls Club at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center. Participants listened to a program by Patrick Reynolds, the grandson of the tobacco company founder, R.J. Reynolds, and speaks to others about the dangers of tobacco use and the positive choice to life a lifestyle free of drugs and tobacco. Members and organizations from the community were included in the Youth Summit. Leanna Lawson, a local Zumba instructor, shared with the kids her journey of physical fitness and encouraged them to participate in a facility-wide, 800 person Zumba class! Local band, Step Cousins, and a local high-school juggler provided entertainment before and after the event.

“Due to the alarmingly increasing rate of childhood obesity, it is vital for us to offer our youth programs and activities that help them live a healthy lifestyle,” said Program Director, Cathy Osborne.

Jun 30

2015 Tennessee Youth of the Year Finishes Second in Southeast Regional Competition

web1_hattonThe Columbia Central High who was named Boys &Girls Club’s state “Youth of the Year” finished second in the regional competition last week.

Ketron Hatton, a member of the Boys &Girls Club of Maury County, competed for the Southeast Regional “Youth of the Year” title.Each state selects a winner, and state winners then compete in one of five regions across the country. Regional winners go to Washington for a national competition.

Hatton spent the week in Atlanta, visiting the Civil Rights Museum and attending a Braves game. He prepared for the competition with etiquette training and interview practice on current events. Contestants gave their speeches in front of of a panel of high-profile judges, representing corporate and community leaders and club supporters.

The judges chose a top three to give their speeches again at Thursday night’s dinner gala. Hatton was among the three finalists.

The audience of 600 notables included representatives from national partners such as Disney, Toyota, Taco Bell and the University of Phoenix. Special guests on hand included sportscaster Ernie Johnson, club alum and former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield and club alum and Auburn University football coach Gus Malzahn.

In Columbia, staff, board members, friends, family and supporters watched a watch live stream of the event on their computer screens.

Teen Director Ulisha Blakesleay watched online from New Orleans, where she and 19 teen center members were on a weeklong Taco Bell college tour.

“I was very proud of him for just applying himself and sticking through the competition,” she said. “I’m proud of him for being able to tell his story to other kids, so they know they can be themselves at the club.”

Blakesleay has watched Hatton’s personal growth throughout the journey. “He is well-poised, well-mannered, and he has the leadership skills.”

In April, Hatton competed in Nashville against other youth from around the state and won the title of Tennessee State “Youth of the Year”. Winning the state competition earned him $5,000, a full-ride scholarship to Tennessee State University and the opportunity to compete regionally.

Since winning in April, he has continued delivering his speech around the community in local churches, at the Boys &Girls Club’s Great Futures Luncheon, and was even recognized at a Maury County Commission meeting. He has also been educating himself on current events and practicing with community members for the interview portion.

Chris Poynter, executive director of the Boys &Girls Club of Maury County, accompanied Hatton to Atlanta, mentoring, coaching, and cheering him.

Poynter described being in that room of 600 people, watching the youth onstage, as “magical … inspirational, the crystallization of a dream come true.”

On spending the week with Hatton, Poynter said, “He inspired me throughout the trip. I needed that trip, probably more than Ketron did. It just poured gasoline on the fire of my passion for what we do. To see these brave young people, many of whom had overcome unimaginable obstacles, get up on stage and encourage others to believe in their dreams just shows the power of Boys & Girls Clubs. With all odds stacked against him, Ketron was able to tap into an inner strength he didn’t know he possessed and had an experience that will change his life forever.”

Read original story here: http://columbiadailyherald.com/news/local-news/central-student-finishes-second-youth-year

Older posts «