March is always an exciting month for the Club. Not only is spring fast approaching, but it also marks Boys & Girls Club week and the time we come together for their kids during this year’s Power of One/Youth of the Year Celebration. The event which has evolved over time, has taken on a life of its own and plugs in local business leaders and community members with the Club’s past successes over the year.
The event which was held at the Wedgewood spotlighted Elementary, Middle School and High School age Club kids. All of whom had been selected on the basis of excelling in the values of leadership, service, academic excellence and healthy lifestyles. Yet the best part of the evening is always when the kids have the chance to share their narratives. Some telling about their school successes, others about challenges that they had to overcome, but each shared in common a story about the Club and how it inspired their life.
Among other things, the event also kicked-off the Power of One/Youth of the Year Campaign, which promotes the spirit of philanthropy within the community. The campaign helps draw in much needed financial support necessary to spread the cost of running all four Club locations throughout the year. When all spoken for the Club delivers top-level programs to 1,300 children and teens; a snack and meal once a day; while also providing kids shuttle service at free or reduced cost. All the while, still ensuring the maintenance and safety of all four facilities; and working together with 43 staff and 100 dedicated volunteers. In all, the logistics of coordinating busses, programs and children can seem like an energizing, but sometimes daunting task.
And as quality programs continue to improve and grow at a steady stream, so does the demand for kids wanting to join; which CEO, Patti Birmingham, attests is always a good problem to have. And despite a lean budget, she and her team continue to find balance and creative ways to keep the magic alive. As one volunteer attests, “It may take hard work to keep the doors open, but it is the kids and families that keep coming back, time after time, that inspire us to continue our mission.”
Rabobank, N.A. has donated a total of $17,500 to four Boys & Girls Clubs throughout Ventura County. The funds will support youth programs and fundraising events at the following local club locations: Camarillo, Moorpark, Oxnard/Port Hueneme and Ventura.