Helping today’s youth to become productive, responsible and caring citizens is a daunting task, especially when dealing with those who face a variety of difficult challenges. Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida (BGCCF) has stepped up and made this part of its mission. Last year, BGCCF served over 10,000 Club members at 16 club sites and 14 middle schools in Brevard, Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties. The Clubs help to support and guide young people who face great personal obstacles and difficult circumstances every day. Most Clubs are located in low socioeconomics areas with high crime rates. The Clubs provide a safe environment for the youth who live there.
When I initially decided to serve on Board of Directors for Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, I was fortunate enough to go on a Club tour with Gary Cain, BGCCF president. I was truly amazed at how many disadvantaged youth are serviced at the two Orlando locations I visited -- Pine Hills and the Coalition for the Homeless. Kids can participate in a variety of activities such as drama class, sports, technology, or dance. Time is set aside each day for schoolwork or tutoring. Students are also provided with snacks and meals while they are at the Club. For many, the Boys & Girls Clubs are a safe haven where kids receive the much-needed care and support that they might not be getting at home.
The Clubs keeps these kids off the streets after school and throughout the evening where they may be faced with much more difficult and dangerous decisions. Last year, 99% of all high school senior Club members graduated. Also, in 2011, there were NO pregnancies among the 3,816 female Club members ages 10-18. Less than a tenth of 1% of the Club members were arrested. In comparison, 6,747 juveniles made up 11% of all arrests in our four-county area during just the first six months of 2011. These statistics show the great impact that the Clubs are making with the youth in Central Florida. With all that these Clubs provide in servicing the over 10,000 members in Central Florida, it is amazing that the majority of funding comes from individual and corporate donations.
BGCCF’s annual Celebrate The Children Dinner & Auction event was the 3rd largest fundraising event in Central Florida in 2011. Kavaliro will be sponsoring a table at the event this year and are hoping that others will follow our lead. It’s important that we all step up in support of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida. By supporting the Clubs either financially or through volunteer service, we are helping our community’s youth to one day become productive members of Central Florida. When you give to Boys &Girls Clubs of Central Florida, you are not only helping the youth of today, but you are making an investment in our future.
If you’d like to sponsor a table or make a donation towards this year’s Celebrate The Children event being held on May 4th at the Orlando World Center Marriott, please contact Diane Mahony at DMahony@kavaliro.com.
- Diane Mahony, CEO of Kavaliro