On a recent visit to the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Alabama in Huntsville, I saw catalytic leadership in action. There is no question CEO Patrick Wynn, board leader Tina Caudle and long-time Area Council members Greg Crabtree, Dick Fountain and Rex Reynolds are not only committed to community change for the betterment of our youth – they’re helping drive that change. That includes upgrading a public housing site, opening a new facility with a gym, and teaming with the school system and city to open another public housing community site this fall.
Meeting Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and School Superintendent Dr. Casey Wardynski, it’s clear they share not only financial support of the Club. They also work nonstop to bring facility and program advancements to the Clubs and kids. It’s a wonderful partnership.
Of course, more help is always needed. It’s the nature of the nonprofit model. During our time together, we asked for additional assistance. Perhaps most significant was the description of current events in Huntsville and the leadership displayed by the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Alabama.
As kids return to school, there’s a new dynamic in the community, as full desegregation has become a reality. About 550 kids are now attending new schools. All of them are Club members. CEO Wynn and the organization have helped guide desegregation efforts. They’ve given Club members opportunities to achieve academic success, lead healthy lifestyles and be great citizens.
As in other communities, when advocacy and public policy need sharpening to ensure all kids receive an opportunity for a great future, Boys & Girls Clubs step up as catalysts for change. It was inspiring to watch as the community heard this message directly from Club leadership at the Leaders & Legends Dinner.
Over 1,000 people came out for the popular event, including Shaun Alexander, the former star running back for the University of Alabama and Seattle Seahawks and a Boys & Girls Club advocate. Congratulations to CEO Wynn and his dedicated board members for their leadership, courage and commitment to ensure all kids have the opportunity to make their American dreams come true.