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Johnny Holden

Boys & Girls Clubs in Tennessee        2014 Hall of Fame Inductee

 Johnny Holden

 Jonny Holden

Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland • Cleveland, Tennessee

     John W. Holden, Jr, known as “Johnny” to his community, became a member of the Cleveland Boys Club shortly after the club’s 1964 inception. It was in August of 1968 that he was recruited because of his savvy business skills and abilities to bring success to new enterprises. When this award is received by him, Johnny will have served the Boys and Girls Clubs of   Cleveland, Tennessee for forty five years!

     In September of 1968, Johnny was purposed to find resources for operations and to help with a capital campaign to build a new facility at 385 3rd Street Southwest in Cleveland, Tennessee. At the time the location was simply known as “ball park curve”.  He announced in October the creation of a signature event, the “Appreciation Dinner”, which would enable the Cleveland Boys Club to raise $12,500. The tickets were sold for one hundred dollars per couple with a grande dinner at the Holiday Inn and the promise of raffle items which included a Grand Prize of a new car or five thousand    dollars cash. Needless to say, the event was a great success reaching the goal of $12,500.00.

      Beginning in that same year, Johnny worked on an even bigger board project, a Capital Campaign to raise $120,000. He and the board sought out individuals, businesses, and corporate leaders and gained pledges to cover the costs of the new building on “ball park curve” for the Boys & Girls Club.

It was in 1969 that the Board of Directors of the club nominated Johnny to be the Second Vice – President. In this capacity he continued to help drive the Capital Campaign until the note was paid in full.

     The year 1978 brought Johnny a somewhat new roll. His help was enlisted to help lead a Growth & Development Committee that would later establish two endowments. The first endowment ensured the health of the newly built club and future of the Boys & Girls Club. By the early 80’s the committee had raised $327,000 for the Capital Endowment as well as second scholarship endowment fund of $110,000.

     Understanding that an organization’s capacity to be awarded grants is a keystone of funding; In 2004, Johnny would fund the First Foundation search engine for the Boys and Girls Club. This extended the organizations ability to search, find, apply, and win grant funding for the club. The cost of the tool, $3,000, led to many new grant awards to include the Tucker Foundation, Bob Card Foundation, Whirlpool Foundation, SunTrust Foundation, Johnson Foundation, Peyback Foundation, and Annie Casey Foundation.

     Always one to be in the forefront of support and leadership for the club; In 2009, Johnny stepped up to underwrite the Lane Kiffin Breakfast at the $2,000 level of support.  Shortly thereafter, again demonstrating his selfless support, Johnny became the Grande Prize winner of the “Cash for Kids” signature special event winning the $30,000 prize. True to his great heart, he donated back the winnings to the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland.

To date, John W. Holden, Jr. has contributed over $50,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland. He remains on the Finance Committee and continues to help in the successes and achievements of the club. Johnny Holden is known in Cleveland, Tennessee for treating others right and proper, honestly, and with respect!