It just takes one.
One opportunity can change the life of
a child. One dream can give a sense of purpose. One voice can
resonate. One Boys & Girls Club can give hope to a community.
"The Boys & Girls Club of the
Monroe Area offers a wonderful service and truly prepares the youth
of today for excellence tomorrow," said Executive Director Jamison
Since its inception in 1996, when a
group of concerned citizens led by Dr. David Kefauver and Curwood
Witt came together to discuss the pressing needs of the youth in
Monroe County, the non-profit has continued to make a positive impact
on young lives in the county by providing youth development programs
in supervised facilities.
"We have more than 2,000 kids in our
clubs and programs annually," said Sliger. "That's a lot of kids
for our area."
With a daily average attendance of
approximately 350 students during the school year (not including
summers), the local clubs have been a steady staple to many families.
"It's all about awareness," said
Sliger. "Some people don't even know what all we do here in Monroe
Toward the end of the month, the Boys & Girls Club of the Monroe Area will kick off their annual fundraising
campaign called, "It just takes one."
"One person can help us make a
brighter tomorrow for children in this county," said Sliger.
Inky Johnson will speak at an
invitation only (due to limited seating) campaign kickoff and
luncheon on Jan. 17.
Johnson, a former football player for
the University of Tennessee, grew up in an impoverished community,
where he slept on his living room floor. But, Johnson strove for
better opportunities and perseverance led him to UT. A career-ending
injury left with him permanent nerve damage, but he continues to give
back to communities by telling his story.
The Boys & Girls Club of the Monroe
Area is working on creating awareness for the campaign in the county.
"We want everyone to be aware of the
campaign and when it's coming every year," said Sliger.
The funds from the Annual Campaign are
used to pay the approximately 80-member staff for the clubs in the
area, for use of the buildings where the clubs are housed, and for
activities and programs for the youth members. The Annual Campaign
will end in May.
This year the Boys & Girls Club of
the Monroe Area has set a goal of $120,000 for the annual campaign.
"We're not looking at it as a
monetary goal," said Sliger. "We're looking to sponsor 120 kids a
year and it costs the Boys & Girls Club about $1,000 annually to
support each child."
Sliger said that $1,000 goes to the
student's after school activities, trips, summer activities and
programs at the Teen Center.
"Funds donated will go toward the
advancement of youth in programs such as mentoring, homework
assistance, career and college readiness programs, and in helping us
provide a caring atmosphere for students," said Sliger.
Details on programs offered by the
local Boys & Girls Club chapter can be found on their website at
This year, the local clubs are
transitioning into serving actual meals and not just snacks to the
students after school.
"We're really proud of this," said
In the fall, only snacks were provided
for attending students, but beginning this week students will receive
a mini sub sandwich, servings of fruits and veggies, and more.
More recently, the Club has started a
Career and College Readiness Program, featuring a college road trip.
"We did it last year and we're going
to do it again this year," said Sliger.
The Career and College Readiness
Program takes teenagers through three classes, focusing on careers,
money matters and graduation goals. In addition to the classes,
students also have the opportunity to go on a college road trip.
"We will take them to visit local
colleges and universities in the southeast United States," said
Sliger said the local chapter of the
Boys & Girls Club relies on community.
"The future of tomorrow is in our
youth," said Sliger. "It's not only our responsibility to create
a thriving atmosphere for the youth to excel in, but it's also the
Through community support, the local
clubs continue to strengthen youth.
"We're not only strengthening our
youth though," said Sliger. "We're strengthening our community."
To donate to the annual campaign for
the Boys & Girls Club of the Monroe Area, visit the website at
bgcmonroearea.org or mail your donation to 615 Warren Street South,
Madisonville, TN 37354.
For more information on the annual
campaign or the local Boys & Girls Club, call 423-442-6770.