By: Jes Wade—
MUNCIE, IN – The Boys & Girls Club of Muncie raised some $20,000 at its annual Great Futures luncheon Thursday, Jan. 26, an event that drew nearly 300 supporters and community stakeholders.
Muncie resident Amber Sparks, General Manager and head coach of the WNBA team the Chicago Sky, was the keynote speaker. “When I was in grade school, I saw a unicorn,” Sparks said, describing the first time she saw a female coaching basketball. It was at that moment, she knew her purpose in life. She told those packed in the Club gymnasium the path wasn’t always clear and it wasn’t always easy. “Thick skin, elastic heart,” is what got her through she told the crowd, urging the children in the audience to remember that it is “resiliency, focus and hope” that lead to success.
Recognized at the event was retiring board member, Mark McKinney, who was given the “Horatio Alger” award for his “tireless work on behalf of Muncie’s youth.” McKinney completed two years as board president and in 2016 was immediate past president of the Boys & Girls Club of Muncie Board of Directors. Also recognized was Central High School freshman, Kamrein Jackson, as the Club’s finalist for Youth of the Year; and Club Kids of the Year, Rodney Dabney, a fourth-grader and Alacia Johnson, a first grader.
MutualBank was the event’s gold sponsor and provided miniature “safes” at every table setting, reinforcing the Club is a safe place to learn, play and be a kid. Muncie Sanitary District was a bronze-level donor, sponsoring two youth for one year.
Board member Caleb Churchill, executive chef at the Horizon Convention Center in Muncie, gave an emotional testimony about what the Club meant to him. “I was a foot and a half taller than anyone in my class,” he said. “When I was being picked on, it was a safe place to go,” Churchill said, adding that he came from a stable, loving family. “People don’t think I’m the kind of kid that would go to a Boys & Girls Club. But we do. The Club is for all of us. It’s where I learned to be a man. It’s where I learned to be a father.” Caleb was 2001 Youth of the Year at the Boys & Girls Club of Kosciusko County.
If you could not attend last week, please visit here to support the Club http://www.bgcmuncie.org/donate/ or contact us 765-282-4461 to schedule a tour of the Club.
About Boys & Girls Club of Muncie: The Boys & Girls Club of Muncie was founded in 1933. Our mission is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential, as productive, caring and responsible citizens. We provide a safe place to learn and grow; ongoing relationships with caring, adult professionals; life-enhancing programs and character development experiences; and hope and opportunity. You can learn more at www.bgcmuncie.org. For more information, please contact the Boys & Girls Club at firstname.lastname@example.org or (765) 282-4461.