Apr 24

SumiRiko Tennessee and Landair to present the 14th annual Bob Kesling Boys & Girls Club Celebrity Golf Classic

Kesling promo Bob K Golf Promo Pic 2016

     The 14th Annual Bob Kesling Boys & Girls Club Celebrity Golf Classic will be held on Friday, June 9, 2017 at Link Hills Country Club.  The event will be held to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Greeneville & Greene County.  The 2017 tournament is title sponsored by SumiRiko Tennessee and Landair.  The event looks to have one of the marquee formats for this area as Bob Kesling has invited celebrities from around the region to compete with local teams of four in this year’s tournament.

     Former college and pro athletes, as well as college coaches, will be among the celebrities that will be involved in this year’s event.  Past tournament participants have included Johnny Majors, Chris Lofton, John Ward, Dale Ellis, Fuad Reveiz, Dane Bradshaw, Haskell Stanback, Eddie Brown, Condredge Holloway and Dale Jones, just to name a few. Other participants include individuals that played collegiate & professional sports, broadcasters and other notables including coaches from East Tennessee State University, Carson Newman, Tusculum College and the surrounding region.

    The event will start with an open range followed by a putting contest.  Lunch, provided by Fatz Café and this will be followed by the introductions of the celebrities and then a round of golf for all participants that will have a shotgun start at noon.  Players will have a chance to win $10,000 cash for a hole in one on hole #16.  The evening will be capped off with a steak dinner and an auction consisting of sports memorabilia, golf packages and other items.  The tournament participants will have a chance to win prizes for a hole in one well as prizes for the longest drive and closest to the hole contests.

   Prior to the event, Prizes will literally fall from the sky during the Boys & Girls Club Golf Ball Drop on Thursday, June 8, 2017 at Link Hills Country Club Golf Course in Greeneville, Tennessee. Sponsored by Captain D’s Seafood Kitchen & Pizza Inn, the event includes a guaranteed $5,000 cash winner, refreshments, music and fun. Refreshments will be provided by Fatz Café, Captain D’s Seafood Kitchen, Pizza Inn. The Caribbean Cowboys will play a variety of music during the event that will be capped off with numbered golf balls being dropped from a helicopter. The balls that land closest to the selected pin will win $5,000 cash and nine other prizes. Golf balls can be purchased for $20 from the Boys & Girls Club board volunteers and staff.

      Kesling stated, “It is a great honor to be involved in an organization such as the Boys & Girls Club.”  He said that living in Knoxville he has seen what an impact Boys & Girls Club’s make on a community’s youth.  “I hope that from our tournament we can provide some additional funding for this great organization for the youth of Greeneville & Greene County,” added Kesling.  For more information on either event contact Scott Bullington or Aly Collins at 423-787-9322.

Apr 21

Tennessee Clubs Recognized at Southeastern Leadership Conference

     The state of Tennessee was well represented at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s annual Southeast Leadership Conference on March 16 in Montgomery, Alabama. At the Conference Awards Luncheon, Clubs and Club Professionals from across the Southeast region were recognized and awarded for their dedication to their Clubs and the many children they serve on a daily basis.

     Ginny Wright from the Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County was the recipient of the J. Richard Ullom Rookie of the Year Award. This prestigious award is named in honor of former Club professional and Regional Service Director, Dick Ullom. One of Dick’s passions was engaging and developing new club executives. This award recognizes an executive director who has been their position for less than three years and has had a significant impact on the children in their community while demonstrating club values and leadership. Wright was named the Executive Director of the Elizabethton/Carter County Club in August of 2013.


     The Boys & Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley’s Lorene Jackson was presented the Herman S. Prescott Award. This award is presented each year to a National member of TPA whose service emulates that of one of the Movement’s great visionaries, Herman S. Prescott. The winner of this award must embrace and be an advocate for the rights and dignity of all. His or her belief in the principles of diversity, equality and empowerment must be the hallmark of their work within the Boys & Girls Club’s Movement. Each of the five regional award winners will receive their award at the Regional Administrative/Leadership Conference.

Lorene Jackson

    The Boys & Girls Club of Maury County was awarded the High Performance Board Team of the Year Award. Upon learning that the current before and after-school provider in their school district closed their doors just seven days before the end of the school year leaving 200 kids without summer programming before this organization could step in officially in the fall, this board worked with staff to build a plan, organize a staff, and open TWO new sites in just SEVEN days.Their efforts paid off as the Club’s expanded summer program was a success, serving 202 new youth, and operating in the black. This board of directors ensured their organization’s success by dedicating many extra hours of work which sometimes even included performing administrative duties so that the Club staff could focus on flawlessly executing the opening of the new Clubs until they could ramp up staff hiring and training. Without this board’s dedication and tireless work, many children in Maury County would have been left with nowhere to go during the summer months. 

MauryCo_IMG_0959 (002)

     Bart McFadden from the Boys & Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley accepted the Art Williams In-Service Training Award on behalf of the Tennessee All-Staff Planning Committee. This award is designed to encourage and motivate efforts to provide effective and quality intra-organizational staff development. The winner of the Art Williams In-Service Training award also promotes broadened involvement of member organizations of Boys & Girls Clubs of America/Southeast in the designing and implementation of local In-Service Training Programs.

Bart - All Staff Award






Apr 21

Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kingsport gets innovative new play equipment


ROGERSVILLE — Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kingsport’s Hawkins County Unit revealed the new Imagination Playground play equipment created by the nonprofit KaBOOM! to students on April 12.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee sponsored the Club in order to receive the $6,000 equipment.

The Imagination Playground consists of connective, blue blocks made of all different shapes and sizes and can transform into several shapes so children can create their own playground.

Hawkins Co. Director Sam Nickels applied for the grant in November when a representative from C! made contact with the Club. Nickels said that himself and CEO Lisa Beilharz hope this will increase play, provoke teamwork and promote problem solving and STEM activities.

Ashley Williams, a representative from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, made the trip from Chattanooga to unveil the playground to a group of club members.

The playground in Hawkins County is the eighth hat BlueCross BlueShield has sponsored across the state.

Select members had the opportunity to enjoy the equipment for the first time. Nickels divided the children into two teams and gave them 25 minutes to build their best “fort”.

Students, ages five to 13, scrambled around in the boxes full of round, square and swirly blocks. After several malfunctions on both teams, they managed to pull their teams together and build towering forts with doors and even furniture.

“The Hawkins Co. Boys and Girls is thrilled to have this opportunity,” said Nickels. “We are incredibly grateful to BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and KaBOOM! for making this possible.”

The Imagination Playground was created by award winning designer David Rockwell, whom was inspired by watching his own children play. Research has shown that playing with blocks and putting pieces together helps children develop intellectual and verbal skills. According to www.imaginationplayground.com, “unstructured, child-directed play is a critical component of healthy social, emotional and intellectual development.” Rockwell hopes to reach four million more students and 10 million more educators with his playground.

KaBOOM! is a national non-profit that dedicates itself to the promotion of active play in children’s lives, particularly those growing up in poverty. Their vision is for “all kids to get the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive.”

Since the organization’s founding in 1996, the organization has built and improved more than 16,700 playgrounds and served 8.5 million kids.

The Hawkins Co. Boys and Girls Club is one of four units operated by Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kingsport. The Club works to inspire and enable young people to realize their potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.

Any school-age child may become a member of the club. For more information, “like” Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kingsport on Facebook or visit www.kbgc.org.


Read the original here: http://www.therogersvillereview.com/rogersville/article_dc3b012b-538c-597a-9755-e3103275e4bb.html


Apr 20

John Calipari to Headline Rutherford County’s Stake & Burger Dinner

Rutherford Co Stake & Burger

When the Boys & Girls Clubs of Rutherford County (Tenn.) were trying to decide who would be the right speaker for the 30th annual Stake & Burger fundraiser, one name stuck out — Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari.

“Our saying for this year is, ‘Imagine The Dream.’ We feel coach Calipari is good at helping people achieve their dreams and was the perfect fit for what we are doing with what he does,” said Michelle Clifford, director of marketing and special events for the clubs. “We are really happy to have him coming for what is the largest fundraiser we do each year.”

The event is April 27 at 6 p.m. CST at the World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro. Dress is business casual and tickets are $200 per person and can be purchased online at www.bgcrc.net.

“We have a committee that meets to discuss who is a good fit for the event each year and how that person portrays himself or herself in terms of what we do,” Clifford said. “We had a lady reach out to coach Calipari and it was not difficult at all to get him here. He seemed so excited to be part of this.

“Ticket sales are going great. We are expecting a sold-out event to hear him. It has been a lot of fun to see and watch the excitement.”

Murfreesboro is about 30 miles south of Nashville. However, that would not seem like a hotbed for Kentucky basketball.

“First, this is a great cause and becomes about the kids we are helping and finding good people to help inspire them and make a difference in their lives,” Clifford said. “Second, Kentucky fans are everywhere. Just from what I have heard and seen, Kentucky fans are coming out of the woodwork for this.

“It has been fun to talk with people because everyone has a story with the history of Kentucky basketball. The program has been good for such a long time, that fans just love the Wildcats.”

So does Clifford. Both of her parents are from Kentucky and life-long Kentucky fans. She says, like many UK fans, she was “born into” the Big Blue Nation.

“I grew up watching Kentucky games with my dad,” she said. “I will still call him to talk during games because it is near and dear to our hearts. So having coach Calipari here is a little bit of a personal thing for me, too.

“Most people know I am a Kentucky basketball fan even though I live in Nashville. I am excited for folks to see and meet him. He is such a great guy and changes so many lives.

“People are dying to hear him. It’s not every day in Tennessee that you see someone like John Calipari and people are very excited for this event.”

The event’s name was changed five years ago to show how the event lets others “make a stake in a child’s future” with their donations.

“Thirty years ago the club went out back and grilled hamburgers for hours for this event,” Clifford said. “Now every year we have a generous restaurant here in town that provides all the food. Every club across the country does the event a little different, but we like what we have and we are really thrilled this year to have John Calipari coming.”

Read the original article here: http://www.lex18.com/story/35193794/john-calipari-perfect-for-imagine-the-dream-fundraiser-for-rutherford-county-tn-boys-and-girls-clubs


Apr 20

Anonymous $100,000 donation given to B&GC of the Ocoee Region, Benton Unit expansion

1491696276_8448The Boys & Girls Club of the Ocoee Region recently received an anonymous $100,000 donation. The full amount of the donation was designated specifically to support an expansion project to take place at the Benton Unit in Benton.

The donor noted they were “particularly impressed with the positive effect the organization has on the lives of the children who participate in the program.” The donor wants to see the Benton Unit expand so it can accommodate more children in Polk County in desperate need of the Benton Unit’s services.

Currently, the Benton Unit is operating at full capacity with attendance of over 100 youth per day. With capacity rules set by the Department of Education, any additional youth registering for services are to be placed on a waiting list until new spots open. Historically, the Benton Unit has had a waiting list of 30 to 50 youth.

Benton Mayor Jerry T. Stephens, along with Commissioners Garry McDonald and Joe Jenkins, are very pleased to see this new addition to the Boys & Girls Club in their community.

“I believe this will be a tremendous asset for the children here,” said Stephens. “They will have an indoor facility now for various physical activities, which is so important in this age of electronics. The Boys & Girls Club serves so many of our families in our area, and this is a wonderful new opportunity for them.”

In the birth stages of the Benton Unit, many leaders within Boys & Girls Clubs of America and some of the state government entities questioned the sustainability of such a rural Unit and site location. This type of Unit was unique to Boys & Girls Clubs of America, which historically has placed new organizations within urban areas.

In 2007-08, the Benton Unit was donated land by the Polk County Commission near the Health Department with the purpose of a new facility construction. This 4,000-square-foot facility quickly became the home for several youth seeking academic success, coaching focused on a healthy lifestyle, and a place of guidance and mentoring towards having good character and leadership skills. In 2014-15, a donor blessed the organization with the construction of a large pavilion connected at the end of the main facility. In 2016, the Polk County commission expanded the property with a donation of surrounding land for the development of playgrounds and ballfields. In April of that same year, a Department of Health grant called “Project Diabetes” was obtained to help start the new ballfield expansion. In fall 2016, the Benton Unit received a grant from KaBOOM! which partnered with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Tennessee Health Foundation to install a 2,500-square-foot playground; 182 volunteers from the surrounding community came together on Nov. 18 to complete the playground in six hours.

This donation will continue the organization’s vision for the Benton Unit Expansion. The organization is working to leverage the donation to raise matching funds that will go toward the construction and expansion of a new building at the Benton Unit. This private donor is seeking other inspired investors to follow their lead in supporting the youth in Benton.

If you would like to make a donation to support the expansion you may contact Derrick Kinsey by phone at 423-559-8299 or email at dkinsey@bgcocoee.org.

Apr 11

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house at Maury County’s Great Futures Luncheon


Maury Co.

There’s no crying at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Maury County. There’s no time, really, except when staff, club members and donors hear about children in dire straits. Even then, turning around troubled lives has become the club’s specialty since it was founded in 1999.

During Tuesday’s Great Futures Luncheon, Puckett’s restaurant owner and event emcee Andy Marshall told the crowd about two teenagers — a 15-year-old girl and 13-year-old boy — who came to Columbia last year with broken lives.

It ripped nearly everyone’s heart out and moved them to tears. It gave them a sense of appreciation for having a strong Boys & Girls Club in town to assist and perform a transformation.

The brother and sister moved after their mother experienced domestic violence, Marshall explained, and were staying at a local shelter.

“Then they were told, time’s up. We have to give your beds to another victim,” Marshall said.

The family faced homelessness, living in their mother’s truck, until the Boys & Girls Club found out and stepped in. The staff helped them recover and afford an apartment, keeping the teens from experiencing an even worse nightmare — life on the street.

Marshall, who earlier was honored with the club’s philanthropist of the year award with is wife, Jan, introduced the teens, then had trouble finishing his presentation. The emotion of the moment overcame him. A former club kid from Memphis, Marshall saw a little of himself in the teenagers.

“That was me, growing up,” Marshall said. “I came from a troubled home life. If it hadn’t been for the Boys & Girls Club helping me…”

Maury County Schools Superintendent Chris Marczak, the guest speaker, had to step away from the microphone three times — choked up as he thought about the teenagers — before he could proceed. It was his job to update everyone on Maury County Public Schools’ relationship with the Boys & Girls Clubs.

“I am blown away by these stories of transformation,” said Marczak, a member of the club’s board of directors. “The problem we have in education, is there are only so many hours in a day. It’s why we need the Boys & Girls Club to provide a safety net for our kids. It’s like a second home to some

of the kids in Maury County. It is literally what stands between kids being homeless or having a place to go.

“Where would some of these kids be without the club?” he asked. “Thanks to you, it goes without saying that we don’t have to answer that question.”

Introduction of the teenagers was a memorable moment for the Great Futures Luncheon. But as tough as the teenagers’ plight was to digest, it illustrated to everyone — from its board of directors to annual donors — what’s at stake right here in our hometown.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Maury County is in the success business. It ensures bright futures. Failure is not an option. It needs money — donations in addition to club membership fees — to make a difference.

“To put it bluntly, kids are in crisis,” Boys & Girls Clubs CEO Robyn Peery said. “Did you know this is the first generation of kids in this country that is on track to end up worse off than their parents? That is the very essence of our American dream that’s at stake today.”

Through the years, 100 percent of club teens have graduated through tutoring and assistance from other club programs and outreach.

From what I have observed as an occasional volunteer, there’s nothing more valuable than the future of a child at the Maury County club. The potentially homeless teenagers were an extreme case of why it pays to have professionals caring for them.

The moment demonstrated the importance of fundraising and having the resources necessary to do more than crying over spilled milk.

You never know when another heart-wrenching case will walk through the front doors on West 8th Street.

Not every Boys & Girls Club member comes from a troubled background. In Maury County, the club handles the school system’s before-and-after-school program. There’s a rang

e of children benefiting from the club’s services, from the most affluent to the most impoverished in the county.

The Boys & Girls Club’s budget has grown from $750,000 to $2 million as it serves three times more kids — 735 instead of 271 — than one year ago. It aligned goals with Maury Schools’ “Seven Keys to College and Career Readiness.” It went from 10 part-time staff to 50 and five full-time staffers to 20.

“We’re serving every demographic in Maury County,” Peery said. “It’s been an interesting, eye-opening experience for us, even some of the things we see in higher-end communities. They might have two parents at home and have a healthy middle-class income, but they might be bullied at school. Or they lack confidence, or they don’t believe in themselves. Sometimes our club members just need that little extra encouragement.

“It’s been eye opening to see the needs in our community,” she repeated. “It makes us all of the more grateful that we can serve so many kids now. It shows how much we need to do. There is so much need in every part of our community.”

The mother of the teenagers, who came to Columbia from Jackson, has a good job now and is working hard, Boys & Girls Club Teen Director Chauncey Julius said. The teens themselves are immersed in their new life.

As they were introduced on stage to the Great Futures luncheon crowd, they held a sign.

One side said, “Then: Helpless. Scared. Left our home. Didn’t know where to go.”

On the other, it revealed a happy ending, thanks in part to the Boys & Girls Club.

“Now: Fresh start. Security. Community. Cared for. A place to call home,” it read.

There wasn’t a dry eye on the house.


Read the original article here: http://www.columbiadailyherald.com/news/20170405/there-wasn8217t-dry-eye-in-house-at-bg-club-fundraiser

Mar 30

Diamond Love Wins 2017 Tennessee Youth of the Year Title




It is with great pleasure that Boys & Girls Clubs of Tennessee announces the 2017 Tennessee State Youth of the Year winner from the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley, Diamond Love. Jessica Harrison from the Boys & Girls Club of Maury County was named first runner up and Zakiyah Walker from the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Memphis was second runner up.

From orientation to the Youth of the Year announcement, the 2017 Tennessee State Youth of the Year event was one to remember. Fifteen teens from the state of Tennessee converged in Nashville, Tennessee for a three-day fun-filled Youth of the Year competition. Club members competed for the title of the 2017 Tennessee State Youth of the Year. The event’s festivities included opportunities for youth to meet and get to know each other, completion of a community service project, a night of fun at Dave and Busters and culminated with a grand Youth of the Year luncheon. It was at this luncheon that more than 125 attendees witnessed the Tennessee Titans provide $25,000 worth of scholarships to our Youth of the Year winners.  Along with our national sponsors Disney, Toyota, Taco Bell Foundation for Teens and the University of Phoenix, this event celebrated and supported the dreams and academic aspirations of our young people.







Mar 30

Shaquille O’ Neal to headline Boys & Girls Club’s Great Futures Gala


Shaq Middle TN

Shaquille O’ Neal, retired NBA Hall of Fame basketball player, will be the featured celebrity at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee (BGCMT) annual fundraiser on Sat., Apr. 1 at the Omni Nashville Hotel.

O’Neal is currently an analyst on the television program Inside the NBA.  The event, which takes place from 5 – 9 PM, supports the operation of eight Middle Tennessee Clubs located in Davidson and Williamson counties and outreach programs serving 4,000 youth.

O’Neal credits the Boys & Girls Clubs with giving him a safe place to play and keeping him off the streets in his hometown of Newark, New Jersey.

“It gave me something to do,” he said. “I’d just go there to shoot. I didn’t even play on a team.”

A national spokesperson for Boys & Girls Clubs of America, he donated $1 million in 1999 to help build technology centers in Clubs, and he collaborated with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Microsoft to create an online safety program for kids.

In addition to O’Neal’s attendance, BGCMT’s Youth of the Year will share the value of the Club in their life and how they’ve achieved academic success, a healthy lifestyle and good character through their Club engagement.

The Great Futures Gala, presented by Nissan, attracts more than 500 guests each year. Tickets are $300 per person. Tables of 10 can be purchased for $2,500. The Great Futures Gala schedule is:

5:00 PM               Reception and Silent Auction

6:30 PM               Dinner Begins in the Omni Broadway Ballroom

7:00 PM             Entertainment, Live Auction, and Program

To learn more, please visit www.bgcmt.org

Read the original article here: https://springhillhomepage.com/shaquille-o-neal-to-headline-boys-girls-clubs-great-futures-gala/

Mar 21

NOTICE: LEAP Grant Application Information

Notice: The Boys & Girls Clubs in Tennessee intends to apply for the Tennessee Department of Education’s Lottery for Education in After School Programs (LEAP) grant application for 13 Club organizations for 21 Club sites across the state of Tennessee. We will submit the application on Thursday, April 6. Please submit any comments, questions, or waiver of requests to the Grant Writer, Amy White, at awhite@bgctnv.org. The application and any waiver of requests will be available for public review and comment after the submission of the grant on April 7, 2017 at our John D. Lee Administrative Offices at 967 Irwin Street, Knoxville, TN 37917.

Thank you,

Ryan Hughes

Executive Director of the Tennessee Alliance



Feb 13

Ryan Hughes Hired as Executive Director of the Tennessee Alliance

Ryan Hughes

Ryan Hughes will begin work as the Executive Director of the Tennessee Alliance on Wednesday, February 15th. Ryan has previously worked as a Field Representative and Legislative Liaison for Governor Haslam and Chief Legislative Officer for Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions. Most recently, he has served as General Consultant providing political consulting services throughout the south for War Room Strategies.

He began his career in 2006, working on Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker’s successful Republican United States Senate primary campaign. After the primary, Ryan went on to graduate from the RNC’s 2006 Field School, which led to a job with the Tennessee Republican Party as a field representative in East Tennessee in support of Corker’s general election. Senator Corker was the only Republican to win that cycle. In 2007 and 2008 Ryan served as Deputy Campaign Manager and Field Director, helping Johnson City Mayor Phil Roe defeat theTN1 incumbent congressman in the Republican primary, something that had not happened in Tennessee since 1974. Roe went on to win the general election. In 2010, Ryan served as the East Tennessee Field Representative for Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam’s gubernatorial run. Ryan served in that role during the primary and the general election, helping achieve the largest victory by a non-incumbent governor in the history of Tennessee. Ryan then worked on the inaugural team before moving over to the executive branch. There he served as a legislative liaison for the Governor’s Office, working with the General Assembly on environmental, workplace, and banking services legislative issues. While at the Governor’s Office, he helped pass an end to the state death tax and a reduction in food tax. Ryan most recently served for the past five years with the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions as the Chief Legislative Officer and PIO. In that role he shepherded 13 pieces of legislation into law, reducing regulations and streamlining state government for financial institutions.

Ryan is a graduate of East Tennessee State University, Belmont University’s Center for Executive Education Mini MBA Program and Tennessee’s state government LEAD program. He has served as a mentor to high school seniors as a part of tnAchieves. Ryan’s wife, Sara, is a Physician Assistant and they have a son, Jack.

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