boys and girls club

Alumni of Boys and Girls Clubs Make a Difference in the World

For more than a century and a half, Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) has been providing the nation’s youth with a safe place to learn, grow, socialize, and prepare for success in their future academic and career pursuits. Over the years, millions of young people have benefitted from Club programs and have gone on to make major contributions to their professions and communities.

Today, BGCA estimates that the number of Club alumni in the world is close to 16 million people. To support these former Club members and provide them with opportunities to advance current BGCA programs, the organization recently launched its Alumni and Friends network. As part of the group’s work, BGCA oversees its Alumni Hall of Fame and operates various alumni initiatives. Read on to learn more about the latest Hall of Fame honorees and find out how BGCA alumni work in support of local Clubs and their youth members.

 

The BGCA Alumni Hall of Fame

While BGCA values the stories of all of its former members, it places a special emphasis on highlighting those individuals whose Club experiences helped to lead them to successful careers and/or roles in society. Each year, the organization recognizes top alumni by inducting a new class of honorees into the BGCA Alumni Hall of Fame.

In addition to accomplished business executives and government leaders, BGCA Alumni Hall of Fame members include well-known Olympians and professional athletes, as well as award-winning actors, musicians, and other artists. The Hall of Fame also comprises prominent military and community leaders.

The list of well-known Hall of Fame honorees includes top actors such as Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, along with successful athletes like Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Jordan, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Ashanti Douglas, Trey Songz, and several other musicians have also been inducted into the BGCA Alumni Hall of Fame. Other prominent members include the dancer Misty Copeland, politician Judith Zaffirini, and Olympic gold medalist Brook Bennett.

 

winter-3260935_1280

 

Meet the 2019 Hall of Fame Honorees

The BGCA Alumni Hall of Fame recently got a bit bigger due to the addition of the 2019 class of inductees. Although each of the seven class members came from different backgrounds and went on to pursue different interests, they all share the experience of finding success in their chosen field after benefitting from the programs offered at their local Boys and Girls Club. The 2019 BGCA Alumni Hall of Fame inductees include the following:

Colonel John Chu—A former member of Boys and Girls Clubs of Fullerton in California, Colonel Chu attended his local Club from the age of 12 through high school. He went on to graduate from the US Military Academy and now commands more than 6,000 soldiers at Georgia’s Fort Gordon.

Trinity “Naomi” Fatu—Trinity Fatu attended Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida and grew up to become a dancer for the NBA’s Orlando Magic. She joined professional wrestling’s WWE later in her career and has been a cast member on Totally Divas on E since 2013.

Denise White—As a member of the Escondido Girls Club in California, Denise White found the support she needed after spending her early childhood in foster care. Today, she is a successful business leader who oversees one of the top athlete management firms in the sports industry.

Tom Ehlmann—Tom Ehlmann became a member of St. Charles Boys Club in Missouri when he was 8 and maintained membership throughout high school. His Club experience helped to lead him on the path to his current career as the president and general manager of Dallas’ NBC TV station. He also serves as a board member for Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas.

 

Benefits of Becoming a BGCA Alumni Member

Regardless of what they’ve done since moving on from their local Club, BGCA invites all alumni and supporters to join its Alumni and Friends network. With help from national sponsor Keurig Dr Pepper and national spokesperson Shaquille O’Neal, the BGCA Alumni and Friends network recruits and engages with former Club members from across the United States and other countries around the globe.

Alumni and supporters who join the network have the opportunity to reconnect with other former members of their hometown Clubs while building new relationships with Club members and friends from other areas of the country. The BGCA Alumni and Friends network also provides members with access to scholarships, mentorship, and career-support resources. This includes the support and resources offered as part of the “Stay Connected” campaign for new Club alumni who are graduating from high school.

In addition to providing Alumni and Friends with opportunities to improve their own lives, the network makes it easy for members to serve as advocates or volunteers for local Boys and Girls Clubs. Those who become involved can provide direct support for Club activities and help champion youth programming on the state and federal levels. More information about the BGCA Alumni and Friends network is available at www.bgca.org.

 

Disclaimer: This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy or validity of any statements or information provided on this website. Do not rely on this information as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or another professional healthcare provider. You should seek immediate medical attention if you think you are suffering from a medical condition. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

golf

Here Are the Details for the 2019 Purple Heart Open

MOPHlogoThe Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) and its fundraising arm, the Purple Heart Foundation, offer supporters a variety of ways to advance their mission. These organizations are focused on supporting military veterans, particularly those wounded in combat.

In addition to making a one-time or recurring donation online, supporters can take part in one of the organizations’ fundraising initiatives. These include the Purple Heart Foundation’s thrift store and Purple Heart Cars programs.

Each year, the Foundation also hosts and participates in several fundraising events across the country. The group’s most popular event is the Purple Heart Open, a charity golf tournament entering its third year. Keep reading for a closer look at the event and what you should know if you plan to attend.

 

About the Event

First held in 2017, the Purple Heart Open brings amateur golfers and special guests together for a fun day of golfing and entertainment. The event features a shotgun-start golf tournament along with a silent auction, awards reception, and dinner buffet. During tournament play, golfers also have access to a grill with snacks and beverages.

In 2019, the 3rd Annual Purple Heart Open will be held on Monday, June 24 at the International Country Club in Fairfax, Virginia. The day’s activities will begin at 10:30 a.m. with on-site registration, a continental breakfast, and the opening of the silent auction.

Prior to the beginning of tournament play at noon, the event will feature an opening ceremony followed by a color guard presentation and the singing of the national anthem. Golfers and other Open participants will end the day with a formal awards reception and dinner buffet starting at 5 p.m.

 

2019 Course Details

Located at 13200 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway in Fairfax, the International Country Club features an 18-hole championship golf course that first opened in 1961. Over the years, the course has received several notable awards. It was listed among the Virginia State Golf Foundation’s list of the top 25 golf courses and was the recipient of the US Chamber of Commerce Association’s Best Golf Course in Fairfax award for three consecutive years.

Golfers participating in the 3rd Annual Purple Heart Open will have the chance to test their skills on the award-winning course, which measures over 6,800 yards from the championship tees. It features a variety of short and long holes, including an opening par 5 that offers a birdie opportunity for long hitters. The remainder of the course comprises mostly par 4s interspersed with two additional par-5 holes and four par-3 holes.

 

golf-ball

 

How to Participate

Those who would like to take part in the 3rd Annual Purple Heart Open can register as an individual golfer or a member of a team of up to four players. The $150 registration fee includes entrance to the tournament and other activities. Prizes will be awarded to the tournament winners. All attendees will receive special goody bags containing various items.

Companies and individuals looking to make a bigger impact can also support the Purple Heart Open by becoming an event sponsor. Sponsorship packages range from $2,000 to $50,000. In exchange for the support, each sponsor receives various benefits. These include advertising on tournament signage, emails, and social media posts.

Other ways to get involved with the 2019 Purple Heart Open include making a donation to the event’s auction. Those who donate auction items will receive signage at the auction table as well as a special shout-out on the Purple Heart Foundation’s social media feeds, which reach more than 400,000 followers. Foundation supporters can also make a direct financial donation through the organization’s website.

 

What Does the Open Support?

With the money raised through registration fees, sponsorship packages, and auction sales, the Purple Heart Open supports various initiatives benefitting the nation’s military families. The main beneficiary is MOPH’s National Service Officer Program. This program helps military veterans and their dependents, widows, and orphans navigate the claims process to receive government benefits and services. Each year, the program helps more than 18,000 veterans and military family members obtain VA medical benefits worth tens of millions of dollars.

In addition to medical benefits, the MOPH National Service Officer Program assists with veterans’ claims in the areas of education, job training, employment, and housing. Those who have had their claims denied by the VA can also turn to the program for help with the appeals process. Other facets of the initiative include national outreach activities that raise awareness of veteran benefits and entitlements among rural and urban veteran populations.

In the past, a portion of the funds raised during the Purple Heart Open has also supported other MOPH and Purple Heart Foundation programs. This includes the Foundation’s scholarships and its work in the areas of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries.

More information about the Purple Heart Open and opportunities for involvement is available at www.purpleheartfoundation.org.

 

Disclaimer: This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy or validity of any statements or information provided on this website. Do not rely on this information as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or another professional healthcare provider. You should seek immediate medical attention if you think you are suffering from a medical condition. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

Goodwill

A Look at All the Latest News from Goodwill

There’s always something happening at Goodwill Industries, and the beginning of 2019 has certainly been a busy period for the community-focused nonprofit. In addition to welcoming new leadership and recognizing its top-performing executives, the organization has been hard at work promoting and expanding its various programs focused on helping people reach their full potential.

Keep reading for a closer look at all the latest stories from Goodwill.

 

Goodwill Welcomes a New CEO

Steve Preston

Steve Preston | Image by Wikipedia

In January 2019, Steven C. Preston officially stepped into the role of president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. Goodwill’s board of directors selected Preston in October 2018 after conducting a formal nationwide search. In beginning his tenure as the organization’s new leader, he took over from Lorna G. Utley, an experienced Goodwill executive who had served as interim president and CEO since August 2018.

Preston’s previous professional roles include leadership positions in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. On the national level, he served as secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as well as administrator of the Small Business Administration.

His experience in the private sector spans more than three decades. Preston has held executive leadership roles with several large companies, including Waste Management and First Data. He has also maintained volunteer board positions with various nonprofit groups.

As Goodwill’s new leader, Preston is leveraging his varied background and experience to advance the organization’s employment counseling, training, and support services. His main goals are expanding the resources of local Goodwill organizations and strengthening strategic partnerships with outside groups.

 

Top Executives Receive Awards at Goodwill Annual Meeting

Each year, Goodwill Industries honors the work of its top leaders at the Goodwill Annual Meeting of the Conference of Executives. In 2019, several executives took home awards from the event, which was held February 18-20 in Miramar Beach, Florida.

The list of award-winning Goodwill executives in 2019 included those who received the J.D. Robins Jr. Distinguished Career Award. This honor is reserved for those who have served Goodwill Industries for at least 25 years.

Michelle Belknap earned the Distinguished Career Award this year for her work at Easterseals-Goodwill Northern Rocky Mountain, Inc. She joined the organization in 1988 and was appointed to serve as president and CEO in 2000. During her tenure as a Goodwill CEO, Belknap helped expand her organization’s mission programs, double the number of its retail stores, and grow its total assets by nearly sixfold.

Joseph Byrum of Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries also earned the J.D. Robins Jr. Distinguished Career Award during the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Conference of Executives. A Goodwill leader for more than four decades, Byrum has launched and expanded a number of programs at his Cincinnati-based organization. The focus of his work has been on helping veterans and those with developmental disabilities and/or mental health conditions.

Other executives honored during the Goodwill Annual Meeting included Raimo Korjus and Jim Martin. They received awards for their work in the areas of international outreach and training of Goodwill personnel, respectively.

 

Goodwill Promotes Stores and Programs through Social Media

In an effort to promote the work of local Goodwill organizations, Goodwill Industries recently teamed up with social media influencers on a four-pronged public awareness campaign. The campaign was led by four influencers (Carmen Flores, Nicole Mazur, Jame Jackson, and Ashley McGetrick) in the areas of lifestyle and parenting, fashion, and home décor.

During four weeks in March and April 2019, the team of influencers reached out to their combined 70,000 followers to encourage donating and shopping at Goodwill. In addition to highlighting the personal benefits of supporting the organization, the campaign focused on how Goodwill donors and shoppers help those in need while promoting a sustainable lifestyle.

 

Goodwill’s Digital Career Accelerator Expands Nationwide

Since October 2017, Goodwill Industries has been working with its corporate partner Google.org on the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator. This program helps US-based workers build digital skills. Since its launch, over 250,000 people have received digital skills training through the program. It has also connected nearly 30,000 people with employment and career-advancement opportunities.

The Digital Career Accelerator provides job seekers and mid-career professionals with personalized training that ranges from a basic introduction to computers to occupation-specific tech instruction. The training and other program activities are led by Google employees who volunteer their time as trainers and mentors.

Originally launched as a one-year initiative, the Accelerator grew into a three-year program thanks to a $10 million commitment from Google. Training offered through the Accelerator is currently available at 93 locations in 34 states. Google and Goodwill are preparing to expand the program into more locations nationwide.

In April 2019, the two organizations announced that the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator will be operating at more than 125 locations within the next year. More information about the program and other Goodwill initiatives is available at www.goodwill.org.

 

Disclaimer: This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy or validity of any statements or information provided on this website. Do not rely on this information as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or another professional healthcare provider. You should seek immediate medical attention if you think you are suffering from a medical condition. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

Featured Image by Mike Mozart | Flickr