Jan 29

Boys & Girls Club leader Tennessee-bound, McFadden accepts new position as Tennessee Valley’s President and CEO


Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley has named Johnson City-native and current Boys & Girls Club of West Georgia leader Bart McFadden as its new president and CEO.

He will assume the role of president and CEO on March 15, and begin working in Knoxville on March 28, according to a press release from Boys & Girls Clubs.

“We set out to find the best person for the job, and we’ve identified that individual as Bart,” said Bunny Oakes, board chairman for Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley. “He has a long, respected and acclaimed history of service with Boys & Girls Clubs, and he has a proven track record of improving programs and increasing the reach and impact of the Clubs he leads.”

McFadden began his Boys & Girls Club career in 2002 when he opened and directed a new middle school club in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He then worked in the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s national office with the FITNESS Authority program.

Following completion of his master’s degree, McFadden served as director of the Walt Disney World Boys & Girls Club, part of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, where he also served as area director. He developed programming that was recognized by Boys & Girls Clubs of America with a National Honor Award in 2009 and then moved in spring 2011 to open a new club in Las Vegas.

In 2012, McFadden took the reins at Boys & Girls Clubs of West Georgia as the organization’s chief professional officer. He led the organization from serving 400 children in 2012 to more than 1,000 in 2015 and achieved an increase in average daily attendance from 160 in 2012 to 350 in 2015. Additionally, the organization expanded capacity with the acquisition of operating control of Boys & Girls Clubs of Chambers County, Alabama, in 2015.

He holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in sports management from East Tennessee State University. He has been an active member of the LaGrange Rotary Club and has served as an adjunct professor in the nonprofit management program at LaGrange College.

Read original article here: http://lagrangenews.com/news/8225/boys-girls-club-leader-tennessee-bound

Dec 18

Gym Full of Youth Turn Out for Annual Basketball Skills Clinic

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Boys & Girls Club of Greeneville & Greene County teamed up with Tusculum College on December 17th to offer their annual free Basketball Clinic to the youth of the community. The clinic led by Tusculum Pioneers basketball head coaches Michael Jones and Devan Carter, as well both men’s and women’s basketball players, attracted a large group of the community’s youth. Kids participated in a variety of drills to practice shooting, dribbling, foot work and passing. Prior to the start of the clinic all participants received a free t-shirt. The clinic was presented by Central Drug Store with additional sponsors including Bullington Family Dentistry, DTR, Forward Air, Grand Rental Station, Greeneville Federal Bank, Tusculum College and US Nitrogen.


Dec 18

Boys and Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains To Break Ground on Pigeon Forge Branch

IMG_3737 (2)The Boys and Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains will break ground on their Pigeon Forge Branch this Thursday, December 17 at 4pm. The ceremony will take place at 2456 Library Drive Pigeon Forge just behind the community center.

Mark Ross, Chief Executive Officer for The Boys and Girls Club stated, “The new building will be 16,000 square feet which is about twice as large as the area where the Pigeon Forge club currently meets.”

The building will be located on property that is being leased through the City of Pigeon Forge.

“We expect the new facility to increase membership by 60 percent, and our average daily attendance will grow from 80 to 130 kids per day,” Ross said.

Citizens National Bank will finance the building and Joseph Construction is the general contractor. Construction will begin immediately and completion is scheduled for the summer of 2016.

“We’ve been working to raise funds for the Pigeon Forge Branch for just over 1 year and I am extremely please and excited to say that we are very close to our campaign goal,” said Linda Ogle, Campaign Chair and Board President.

“The citizens and business community of Pigeon Forge and Sevier County have been very generous in their support and with their contributions to build this new club and I could not be more happy,” Ogle continued.

27 businesses and individuals have contributed to the camping building fund raising over 2.4 million dollars to help fund the facility construction, furniture, fixtures and equipment.

“We are so very close to our overall campaign goal so there’s still an opportunity to give for those wanting to help us realize the full potential and use of this new facility, “ stated Ogle.

“The Pigeon Forge Branch has been a dream for many years and we are so very appreciative to all those who have helped our dream become a reality,” said Ross.

Nov 24

Boys & Girls Club hosts annual Youth Summit


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Over 700 eighth grade students filled the Niswonger Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 as they attended the 14th Annual Youth Summit. The event was hosted by Boys & Girls Club of Greeneville & Greene County and was sponsored by Central Drug Store and Gift Shop. This year’s Youth Summit brought together all eighth grade students from the Greeneville City and Greene County Schools to help instill positive values focused on this year’s theme “Character is who you are when no one is looking.” This is a time where community leaders encouraged and supported the youth of their community by promoting good character and helping students get back to the basics of treating one another with respect. Eric Johnson, the Vice President of Youth Development at STARS (Students Taking A Right Stand) Nashville, served as the event’s keynote speaker. Johnson spoke to local youth about the importance of having character and how important it is to impact another’s life in a positive way each day.

In addition to Johnson’s work as a trainer and speaker, his experience at STARS includes both direct student assistance work in schools and program management. His training has taken him across the country speaking to educators, mental health professionals, administrators, communities, parent groups and student leaders. Over the past few years, through the Safe and Supportive-Schools initiative, he helped develop materials for the Tennessee Youth Engagement Summits. As he traveled throughout the state he trained students and educators to utilize youth voice to shift the culture and climate in their schools. His training for the STARS Move2Stand Leadership Training is geared to help students recognize the harmful effects of bullying and harassment. He has presented at National Conferences and Seminars on the “Rites of Passage” and Bullying Prevention Strategies. In 2005, he was a recipient of the Tennessean Top 40 under 40 Award honoring those whose commitment to community is an inspiration to others. In 2011, he was honored by his former high school as a hometown hero as one “Living Beyond the Dream.” He strongly believes that in order to teach young people, you first have to be able to connect to young people.

This year’s event included performances by the Step Cousins band featuring guest guitarist John Brown, the Greene County JROTC program and Debbie Shaw, a local Zumba instructor. In addition to the Boys & Girls Club, the following agencies helped to make this year’s event possible: the Greeneville City Schools, the Greeneville City Schools Education Foundation, the Greene County School System, Greene LEAF and the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.

Nov 23

Creating IT Futures, Memphis Boys & Girls Club Program is Aiming for A+


Briahna Chambers of Tech901 Briahna Chambers is accustomed to meeting a challenge, even those that appear to others to be impossible for her.

In college she broke 10 longstanding school track-and-field records. Her best event was the long jump, but it wasn’t supposed to be: She is only five-foot-two.

“Some of those athletes from competing teams were over six feet tall, and they didn’t expect to be beaten by someone as short as me,” Chambers recalls. “They sure were surprised.”

Now Chambers is attempting something just as daunting: Helping a group of mostly high-school students to achieve a professional IT certification in an after-school class.

Chambers graduated from Hanover College in Indiana with a degree that blended computer science and the arts. Today she is employed by Tech901, a new nonprofit in Memphis dedicated to augmenting the tech workforce in that city by training youth and adults.

The group has partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis to offer the first IT training course at the Juice Plus+ Technical Training Center, established by the clubs in 2006 to help young people in need of opportunity to skill-up toward decent paying jobs.

Information technology has joined the culinary arts and logistics tracks at the center aimed at high school and college students ages 16 to 21. The students earn stipends ($200 a month for the IT portion) so that low-income students who otherwise would take a low-skill part-time job can take advantage of the higher-skills training instead.

The first IT class launched Nov. 12 with 30 students out of 115 finalist applicants, with a nice mix of boys and girls. Most are ages 16 to 18. The curriculum for the course is mapped to CompTIA A+, a comprehensive IT certification that covers hardware, operating system software, and trouble-shooting, preparing a student for a help-desk technician or other entry-level IT role.

Chambers hopes to move through the material for CompTIA A+ over the next five months. Those completing the certification will have a better chance of landing paid IT work, she says.

Given the strenuous pace of the course, Chambers didn’t mince words with candidates during the application process.

“Throughout the whole recruiting process I was very clear about what my expectations were,” Chambers said. “We’re treating this class like a job, and the students know they will be held accountable for their actions. In the workplace, if you don’t meet the standards set for you, you get fired.”

Chambers knows that level of intensity is unusual for an after-school program. But because this program is geared toward preparing students for real-world work, there isn’t room for compromise. “I’m not babying them. They actually appreciate that,” she explains.

Chambers grew accustomed to disciplined culture while growing up a military brat. She spent the bulk of her impressionable years near Fort Hood where her mother was retired from the Army and her father was an active-duty infantryman.

Near the end of her college career she considered applying to Teach for America and teaching in Memphis for a year or two before entering graduate school. Her boyfriend at the time (now husband) was looking to train for a teaching career at Memphis Teacher Residency. It turns out that the President of MTR, David Montague, is the brother of Tech901’s Executive Director, Robert Montague.

“Briahna will provide a wonderful role model for these urban high school students,” said Robert Montague. “Her dedication, education, and computer science work experience give her a unique ability to not only teach the CompTIA A+ curriculum well, but also develop the students’ work ethic and soft skills.”

IT Futures Labs contributed a $5,500 grant to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis in 2015 for instruction materials and is following the program’s progress to see what lessons can be applied to other after-school IT skill-building programs.

Tech901 and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis are going out on a limb to see just what these students can accomplish. And, so far, the students are responding to the challenge, judging by the comprehensive notes Chambers says they are taking in class.

“I would love every student to pass the A+ certification,” Chambers says. “I set the bar really high for them. That’s something I do in my personal life, and so that’s what I’m doing with them.”

Read the original story here: http://www.creatingitfutures.org/inspiring-success/blog/creating-it-futures/2015/11/19/memphis-boys-girls-club-program-is-aiming-for-a-

Nov 09

15th annual Wine Down Main Street Supports Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee

The streets were packed Saturday night with good-spirited patrons supporting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee.

The 15th Annual Wine Down Main Street was once again a huge success on a beautiful evening with perfect weather, great food and fantastic wines to taste.

Two live bands and a strings ensemble entertained patrons, and 30 shops from Franklin Public Square to Fifth Avenue poured all kinds of wines Other venues offered beer. The VIP room at The Red House, an events venue on Third Avenue North, also poured spirits.

Food ranged from artisan chocolate to barbecue, Mediterranean fare to chicken wings.

The event helps support the seven Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee that serve more than 2,800 children from 5 to 18 in Davidson and Williamson counties.

Read the original article here: http://www.brentwoodhomepage.com/15th-annual-wine-down-main-outdoes-itself-again-cms-23742#.VkEJK_-FOB8

Nov 09

Boys & Girls Club Opening Branch in Strawberry Plains

5638b65663299_image“I think it was God’s idea,” said Brad Jenkins, President of the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Club of Dumplin Valley. Jenkins was talking about the upcoming expansion of the B&GC into Strawberry Plains, where club numbers should increase by nearly 250 hopeful new members.

“We’ve been talking about this for nearly four years,” said Jessica Page, Executive Director of Jefferson County’s Boys & Girls Club operations. “It’s our mission to serve the entire county.”

While Page and the board were focusing on how to start up a satellite club in the west end of Jefferson County, Strawberry Plains Presbyterian Church leadership was discussing how their membership could provide a worthwhile ministry to the greater community. It appears God did put the plan in action.

In 2006 the church had constructed a huge addition that included a gymnasium with room enough for additional classrooms, a kitchen, a seating-and-dining area, and even a large stage where the church could hold theatrical performances. It is, indeed, a beautiful and spacious activity center, but most of the time, it sits empty.

The kids needed a place and the church needed a mission. How providential.

Page says it takes a lot to operate a club, and she is so grateful that this church decided to step out on faith to provide a place for young people in Strawberry Plains. Many of the children will come from Rush Strong (about half that school’s attendance), while high-school students will be bused to the club from JCHS.

There will be at least six full-time leadership staff members, with Miranda Peoples serving as Branch Director. Miranda is a former Club member and the 2011 Youth of the Year. She overcame many hardships in life to move forward, becoming a Carson-Newman University Honors graduate in 2015. She truly believes in the club and how it helped her, and that makes her want to pay it forward by working with youngsters who might need understanding, guidance and a helping hand.

Page spoke about how the club might utilize all the space afforded at the Presbyterian Church.

“There is a classroom where kids can get help with their school and homework, there’s an art room, a full size gym for physical activities, a garden where they can plant and grow some of their own vegetables, and each of these areas will have a dedicated director,” she said. There might eventually even be a cooking class where the youngsters can learn to cook the food they raise in the garden. The possibilities are limitless.

“We consider it a tremendous blessing that the church gave us a home,” said Page.

And from the perspective of the congregation: “The church is really excited about being the hub of this kind of activity,” said Tracy Cagle, Clerk of Sessions (body of elders).

Those with an interest in signing their child up for the opening Strawberry Plains Boys & Girls Club should remember these dates:

• Monday and Wednesday, November 2 and November 4 – sign ups will take place at Rush Strong each day, from 4:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m.

• Tuesday and Thursday, November 3 and November 5 – Parents can view the facility and register kids at Strawberry Plains Presbyterian Church, 3168 West Old A.J. Highway. While they are there, they may sign up to volunteer and pledge their support for the Boys & Girls Club.

The club opens November 23 when afternoon buses brings the new members for their first day. On November 25, there will be no school, but the club will be open from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. thereafter, Monday through Friday.

Read the original story here: http://www.standardbanner.com/news/boys-girls-club-opening-branch-in-strawberry-plains/article_5270bf54-822e-11e5-8ac5-db3d26bcf046.html

Nov 02

Boys & Girls Club of Maury County Spruce Up Old Community Building


web1_BG-Club-Wall-Painting-on-Iron-Bridge-Road_3624_swtThe wall has been there for years.

“It’s ugly,” said Ulisha Blakesleay, Boys & Girls Club Teen Center director, about the retaining wall that runs on the right side of Iron Bridge Road just before Fairview Park in Columbia.

Blakesleay said it was there when she moved here as a fifth-grader. It was just a little way from her grandmother’s house, and she would pass it when she and her friends walked to the park. It has remained pretty much the same except to sport not-so-nice graffiti at times. Lately it’s been what she called an “ugly green.”

About a year ago, Blakesleay decided that wall needed a positive message on it. She wanted a positive message for the neighborhood, park and road.

“I wanted the kids that live in that neighborhood to have some pride … wanted it to say something positive about the neighborhood and to make a statement of the pride that comes out of that neighborhood,” she said.

“I wanted the kids to be able to put their voice on the wall.”

She began looking for someone with experience, who would be able to paint a mural on it.

It wasn’t until just recently that she found Rudy Sanchez, a local tattoo artist.

Blakesleay said her son, Terrell, got a tattoo before returning to college recently and put her in touch with Sanchez, who agreed paint the wall at no cost.

“The Boys &Girls Club pays for the supplies, but he doesn’t want recognition or anything,” Blakesleay said.

She said timing has been perfect because the B&G teen center temporarily is housed in the Fairview Park Community Center while renovations are being done on the West 8th Street facility

. The center was scheduled for completion at the end of the summer, but is now expected sometime in the first quarter of 2016, according to Chris Poynter, executive director of the Boys &Girls Club.

The teens have been to the wall when they are out of school to form a barrier to keep Sanchez safe as he paints, she said. A year ago they would not have been close by to do that.

“Mr. Sanchez has also been able to teach the kids how to do appropriate messages instead of ugly graffiti on a wall,” Blakesleay said.

Sanchez said it has been “a nice break away from his regular job — something different to do.”

The words “Knowledge,” “Pride” and “Dignity” and the Boys &Girls Club logo are now on the wall, but this week Sanchez will be adding a bit of the history of the area to the mural: the two east-side schools Carver-Smith and College Hill.

Sanchez said he should finish painting the wall sometime this week.

The teens from the center, who already have an Adopt-a-spot stretch of road they keep free of trash, have decided to keep this area of the road trash-free, also.

“People fly through there (Iron Bridge Road). Maybe now they will slow down so they can look at the wall,” Blakesleay said.

Read the original article here: http://columbiadailyherald.com/news/local-news/wall-has-new-attitude

Nov 02

Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kingsport Set to Honor Heroes with Dinner

The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kingsport and the Tri-Cities Military Affairs Council (TC-MAC) will host our 3rd Annual “Honoring Our Heroes” dinner to recognize heroes – past, present & future.

This year’s honorees include Military Personnel (active and retired), First Responders, Educational and Medical professionals and Club members. The event will also serve as a fall fundraiser for both organizations.

In keeping with a Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s long-standing tradition, all honorees will enjoy steak dinners, while patrons will be served burgers. Kingsport’s Texas Roadhouse, Stone Drive, is generously donating the evening’s meals.

The 40 heroes honored this November will join 80 previous honorees from our 2013/2014 dinners.

Program activities will include posting of the Colors, recognition of honorees, a keynote address by Kingsport City Manager, Jeff Fleming, and announcement of Veteran of the Year. Additionally, Boys & Girls Club members will recite the Boys & Girls Club Code and pledge of allegiance.

2015 Honorees:

First Responders: Fire Engineer Carlos Stabler, Fireman J.T. Osborne, Fireman Brian Gage, Detective Corporal Randy Murray, Detective Corporal Martin Taylor, Police Officer Seth Brumfield and Sullivan County EMS Fred McGrew.

Educational & Medical Professionals: Retired Superintendent Wallace Ketron, Teacher Shayna Painter, Dr. Brian Shafer and Sam Wiles, D.D.S.(retired).

Military Personnel: Bill Reed, Joe Cody, Gayle Carpenter, Jerry Reynolds, James Dobyns, Jason Sabbides, Michael Harman, Terry Smith, David Shield, Jesse Moore, Bill Kilgore, Ralph Burrell, Larkey, tyree, Gary Stidham.

Club Members: Lexi, Michael, Bobe, Grace, Cameron, Jessee, Skye, Carson, Josh, Brianna, Isabella, Seth, Adriana, Joseph, Skylar.

“Honoring Our Heroes” will be held Saturday, November 14, 2015, from 6-8 p.m. at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kingsport’s Eastman Center, the Club’s main campus off Stone Drive (between Rush Street and Pratt’s). Tickets are $35 each and can be purchased from TC-MAC members or by calling 423.230.4160, extension 231.

Read the original article here: http://www.timesnews.net/Community/2015/10/21/Boys-and-Girls-Club-of-Greater-Kingsport-set-to-honor-heroes-with-dinner.html

Nov 02

Boys & Girls Clubs in Tennessee Inducts Six New Members Into Hall of Fame

On September 17th, six new members were inducted into the Tennessee Boys & Girls Clubs Hall of Fame during the Boys & Girls Clubs in Tennessee’s annual Area Council meeting. These six individuals were nominated based on their exceptional service to a Boys & Girls Club(s) in Tennessee whether through Club membership, board or volunteer service or service in any manner that directly benefitted a Tennessee Club or Clubs. Currently, 36 members have been enshrined into the Tennessee Boys & Girls Clubs Hall of Fame during the last six years.

The following individuals were inducted into the 2015 Class: David Roark of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mountain Empire, Delores “Dee” Hendershot of Boys & Girls Club of Morristown, Dugan McLaughlin of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley, Perry Cooper of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Clinch Valley, Ronnie Jenkins of Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland and Sidney Boyd of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis. Their individual biographies can be found under the Hall of Fame tab and under Class of 2015, or click on their individual pictures to be directed to their page.

David Roark Dee Hendershot Dugan McLaughlin Perry Cooper Ronnie Jenkins Sidney Boyd




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