This past week brought several opportunities to meet with our elected officials to convey the critical role Boys & Girls Clubs play in serving communities with the most needs, and to emphasize the great value of public-private partnerships.
A great day on Capitol Hill recently included meetings with legislators from both sides of the aisle – Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Steven LaTourette (R-OH), Betty McCollum (D-MN) and James McGovern (D-MA) – to discuss the needs of our youth and the tremendous benefits of Boys & Girls Clubs to young people throughout the country.
Congressman McGovern is a proud former Club kid himself, a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Worcester, Mass., Alumni Hall of Fame. His support and dedication were absolutely critical in enabling the Worcester Club to open a new facility and anchor revitalization efforts in that city’s distressed Main South neighborhood.
Another fantastic visit was with Tim Davis, president and CEO of the Close Up Foundation. Our partnership with Close Up is bringing more than 700 of our military youth to the Capitol. For three days, they’ll tour the inspiring monuments of Washington, D.C., and experience our democracy in action. Providing once-in-a-lifetime opportunities like this is what Boys & Girls Clubs are all about.
A few days later, back home in Atlanta, we met with Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. The governor was very receptive to hearing about Clubs’ efforts in helping Georgia youth achieve critical outcomes in education, health and character development.
It was a privilege to be accompanied on this visit by Joyce Stevens, founding board member of the Walton County Boys & Girls Club in Monroe, Ga., and advocate for our Georgia State Alliance. Since the inception of our nearly 10-year partnership with the state, the alliance has facilitated more than $62 million of support passed through to Georgia Clubs. What’s more, Clubs have leveraged that funding to secure nearly $190 million in matching support from private sources.
Joining me in our meeting with Georgia Governor Nathan Deal (center) is Kevin McCartney (left) and Brian Manderfield (second from right) of BGCA’s Office of Government Relations, and Joyce Stevens (right) of the Georgia State Alliance.
Public-private partnerships like these enable Clubs to provide critical programs and services to youth, and enrich communities all across the country. Growing these relationships, at every level of government, is an important strategy to ensure our Clubs can create great futures for more and more of America’s kids.