Great Futures Moments
Everyday youth at our Clubs demonstrate positive service and leadership at school, home, church and community. We celebrate them and the staff at our Clubs for the impact they make in the lives of these children. Read their stories below.
BGC Bethalto Recognition Event
Boys & Girls Club of Bethalto honored board members, community partners and staff at their recent Recognition Event for their commitment to the Boys & Girls Clubs as well as the kids and teens that we serve. Congrats to all of the following honorees!
National Service to Youth Awardees: Given to staff and board members who have rendered long and devoted service to the Boys & Girls Club Movement.
COMMUNITY BOARD Honorees:
BLUE DOOR Awardees: The Blue Door Awards are our way of recognizing community members who have gone above and beyond in their support of our Club and its mission.
BGC Bethalto Dinner Auction Recap
Boys & Girls Club of Bethalto held its 25th annual Help Kids Dinner Auction at Julia’s Banquet Center in East Alton. This is the organization’s largest fundraising event that supports the mission and provides much-needed programming year-round for members. The Disco Fever themed event was a huge success with over 150 attendees and raising $41,000! Highlights of the evening included the ever-popular dessert auction, designer purse raffle, treasure chest auction and traditional silent and live auctions with great gifts and experiences from a room makeover to Cardinal Green Seats.
Special thanks to the Boys & Girls Club of Bethalto Community Board, Beverage Sponsor: First Mid Bank & Trust, Food Sponsor: Laux Brick House, Treasure Chest Sponsor: Anderson Healthcare, Purse Raffle Sponsor: Galanti & Patti Law Office, P.C., Dessert Raffle Sponsor: Geno’s 140 Club and Major Ad Sponsor: Edward Jones- Ken Harmon. To view pictures from the event, click here.
Great Futures Moments E-News 3rd Q
Great Futures Moments E-News 4th Q
Lailah Green Wins 2022 Youth of the Year
YOUTH OF THE YEAR WINNER ANNOUNCED
AT BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF GREATER ST. LOUIS GREAT FUTURES GALA
Lailah Green Wins Youth of the Year, $5,000 in Scholarships & A NEW CAR
Over 330 guests and $700,000 raised for Club kids and teens!
St. Louis, MO, October 22, 2021 – Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis (BGCSTL) is proud to announce the 2022 Youth of the Year winner is O’Fallon Park Club member Lailah Green! Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club member can receive and a signature national youth recognition program that celebrates the recipient’s contributions to their family, school, community, and their Boys & Girls Club. The winner was announced at the Jerseys & Jewels themed, drive in tailgate style Great Futures Gala, the largest fundraising event for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis, which raised $700,000 for Club kids and teens!
Lailah, age 15, is a sophomore at Metro Academic and Classical High School and has been a member of BGCSTL O’Fallon Park Club for eight years. In addition to winning the Youth of the Year title and honor to represent the Club as a Teen Ambassador, she received the Michael & Wanda DeHaven $5,000 Scholarship, a celebratory dinner courtesy of the Saint Louis Club and a car provided by Frank Leta Honda! Lailah plans to pursue higher education with hopes of one day becoming a Congresswoman when she graduates high school. She credits the supportive Club staff with helping her find light at the end of the tunnel and multiple programs for giving her an opportunity to turn around her behavior and lend a hand when she needed it most. She says the Club has, “helped her love herself, gain confidence, gain leadership skills and make long lasting friendships.”
“The Youth of the Year program honors our nation’s most awe-inspiring young people on their path to great futures and encourages all kids to lead, succeed and inspire. All of the honorees are shining examples and living proof that great futures start at the Boys & Girls Clubs. We are so proud of all of this year’s participants who took the time to complete a challenging yet worthwhile process. All possess the ability and ambition to be successful, and should be recognized for their leadership, service, academic achievements and commitment to live a healthy lifestyle,” said Dr. Flint Fowler, President, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis.
Another special moment in the evening was Mr. Martin Mathews, co-founder of the Mathews-Dickey Boys & Girls Club, being honored with the Capture the Vision Award which is presented to an individual or organization who demonstrates their devoted service to the Club through tireless innovation. Dr. Flint Fowler presented Mathews with the award and said, “Mr. Mathews is being recognized with the Capture the Vision Award for a life of service dedicated to the well-being of children. Thousands of our citizens have better lives because of the role he has played in their development.”
2nd Place winner receiving a $2,500 scholarship is Herbert Hoover Club member, Nikell Smith
3rd Place winner receiving a $1,000 Scholarship is Hazelwood East High member, Hannah Wallace
4th Place winner receiving a $500 Scholarship is Be Great Graduate Normandy High School member Da’Nija Jones
Special thanks to Emcee KSDK Rene Knott, the Great Futures Gala committee including, Honorary Co-Chairs Dr. Donald M. Suggs and Keith Williamson and 2021 Co-Chairs Leah & Chris Harris, Nancy & Jim Wolfe, Catherine & John Stupp III and Kathryn & Jim Sansone. We are also grateful to the following sponsors for their support: Premier Sponsor, Centene Charitable Foundation, Lead Sponsor Emerson, and Presenting Sponsors Ameren, Dowd Bennett and Nancy and Jim Wolfe.
To view more pictures from the evening, click here.
For more information on how the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis is helping our community, visit www.bgcstl.org.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis
The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis (BGCSTL) is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. For over 150 years, BGCSTL has been providing after-school, teen, sports and summer programs to youth in the St. Louis area while also providing a safe place for them to learn and grow. The Clubs serve youth across the region at twelve locations, including (Adams Park Club, Boys & Girls Club of Bethalto, Boys & Girls Club of Lovejoy, Hazelwood Elementary School Club, Herbert Hoover Club, Mathews-Dickey Club, Normandy High School, O’Fallon Park Club, Riverview Gardens Club, Roosevelt High School, Hazelwood Southeast Middle School Club and the Teen Center of Excellence). We also operate Mentor St. Louis and the St. Louis Internship Program.
Great Futures Gala 2021
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis
Annual Great Futures Gala Outdoor Tailgate Style
Park & Party with a Purpose
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis (BGCSTL) will hold its annual Great Futures Gala on Wednesday, October 20 on the upper Muny Lot in Forest Park, tailgate and outdoor movie style.
Last year the event was outdoors for the first time due to covid precautions and it was such a success that we returned for year two! The outdoor gala will include all of the favorite elements of our past Galas, but under the stars. We’re transforming the upper Muny lot in Forest Park to a Jerseys & Jewels themed tailgate gala that will consist of a center stage with large outdoor movie screens, an emcee, music, entertainment and dinner. Guests will be able to enjoy the gala from the privacy and comfort of their cars allowing for more distancing in a safer social environment.
The “Great Futures Gala” is the largest fundraiser benefitting youth at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis and showcases the youth who embody the ideals of the Club’s mission to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens! Club teens and Youth of the Year candidates will share their stories of how the Club has impacted their lives throughout the evening followed by the selection of the 2022 Youth of the Year! Click here for ticket and sponsorship information.
Thanks to our Premier Sponsors, Centene Charitable Foundation & Dowd Bennett.
Honorary Co-Chairs: Dr. Donald M. Suggs and Keith Williamson
Leah & Chris Harris
Nancy & Jim Wolfe
John Stupp III & Catherine Toben
Kathryn & Jim Sansone
If you’ll be missing the celebration, we invite you to volunteer, donate, mentor or register your youth for membership, or for ticket information, visit www.bgcstl.org.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis
Great Futures Gala
Theme: Jerseys & Jewels
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Muny Lot, Forest Park
About Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis
The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis (BGCSTL) is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. BGCSTL provides after-school, teen, sports and summer programs to youth across the Bi-State Region while also providing a safe place for them to learn and grow. The Clubs serve youth across the region at twelve locations, including (Adams Park Club, Boys & Girls Club of Bethalto, Boys & Girls Club of Lovejoy, Hazelwood Elementary School Club, Herbert Hoover Club, Mathews-Dickey Club, Normandy High School, O’Fallon Park Club, Riverview Gardens Club, Roosevelt High School, Hazelwood Southeast Middle School Club and the Teen Center of Excellence). We also operate Mentor St. Louis and the St. Louis Internship Program.
Recognition Event Honorees & Alumni Hall of Honor 2021
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis Honors
Alumni, Board Members, Community Partners & Staff
at Annual Recognition Event
ST. LOUIS (August 13, 2021) – The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis (BGCSTL) is proud to announce the 2021 Annual Recognition event honorees and Alumni Hall of Honor inductees! Each year the staff, board members, volunteers and supporters are acknowledged and celebrated for their commitment to the Boys & Girls Clubs as well as the kids and teens that we serve.
The 2021 BGCSTL Alumni Hall of Honor inductees are Brandon Bosley, Paris Thompson, Sharita Davis, Steve Vasser, Gerald Fulton, Marsha Walls and Kayla Jackson-Williams. The Hall of Honor recognizes outstanding alumni for achievements in their respective fields, commitment to leadership, serving our community’s youth, contributions to the St. Louis community and for living out the mission of the Boys & Girls Club. Additional categories and honorees for the evening were as follows (award descriptions below):
L to R Dr. Flint Fowler (President, BGCSTL), Sharita Davis, Marsha Walls, Kayla Jackson-Williams, Rev. Steve Vasser, Paris Thompson, accepting on behalf of Gerald “Hitman Holla” Fulton, Jr. (his parents) and Dr. Graylon Johnson (presenter and former Boys & Girls Clubs alumni) – not shown Alderman Brandon Bosley
Richard H. Amberg Award Recipient – Nancy Wolfe (Presented to a Board member whose leadership and commitment has a profound impact on the Club’s ability to achieve its mission.)
National Award of Merit (Individuals and organizations outside Boys & Girls Clubs that have provided outstanding support to local Clubs or the Movement.)
Gail Ruhling, St. Louis Cardinals
Rene Knott, News Channel 5
PGA REACH, Ali Wells
Riverview Gardens School District, Dr. Scott Spurgeon
Kuhn Foundation, Thom Kuhn
Dowd Bennett, LLC, Ed Dowd
Deborah Wilkins Reese
Service to Youth Award – Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis Staff
(Board, volunteers and staff who have rendered long and devoted service (five years or more) to the Boys & Girls Club Movement.)
John Redden Jr.
Twenty years: Tylinisha Howard and Nasrin Shadman-Atkins.
Twenty-five years: Dr. Flint Fowler and Reginald Jones.
Service to Youth Award – Board and Life Trustees (Board, volunteers and staff who have rendered long and devoted service (five years or more) to the Boys & Girls Club Movement.)
John Farmer – 5 years
Dave Queller – 5 years
William “Bill” White – 5 years
Robert “Bob” Fulstone – 30 years
Joan Silber – 30 years
Cabinet of Life Trustees – (An honorific title, bestowed on an individual Director who has retired from the Board of Directors having completed their terms and who are deemed worthy of such designation by virtue of their extraordinary past performance and contributions to the Club.)
BGCSTL President, Dr. Flint Fowler (reflecting on the annual event which has always been close to his heart) said, “This event gives us the opportunity to celebrate the many ways that our staff, board volunteers, alumni and friends contribute to the welfare of the children we serve and highlight our impact. While we recognize the challenges of COVID-19, we believe it is important to recognize the contributions and achievements of so many Club constituents.”
To view more photos from the event, click here.
Table for Four Recap 2021
Table for Four Guests
“Stepped up to the Plate” to Support Boys & Girls Club Youth
Teen Honored with Award for Volunteerism & Leadership
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis held its annual Table for Four event on the field at Busch Stadium this week! The luncheon, themed, Step up to the Plate, attracted nearly 350 guests and raised over $120k to support programs for girls at the Clubs. It was the first in person event of the year the organization has held (social distancing and masks were still in place).
Featured guests and speakers included 2021 Youth of the Year JaNiyah Banks, BGCSTL President Dr. Flint Fowler, KSDK Anchor & Reporter Michelle Li as emcee, Judy Armstrong (guest of honor), Carolyn Kindle Betz (Enterprise Holdings Foundation), Mayor Tishaura Jones, Karen Jordan (Dentons US LLP), Lauren Herring (Impact Group), Angellean Peters-Lewis (BJC) and Chonda Jordan Nwamu (Ameren Corporation).
During the event, Teen Center of Excellence member, D’Aura Tatum, was presented with the Joan Silber Volunteerism & Leadership award, which included a $1,000 scholarship. D’Aura is a 7th grader at Cross Keys Middle School and has been a member of the Boys & Girls Club since she was 7 years old. She spoke at the Teen Center of Excellence groundbreaking ceremony; was featured in the 2020 Census PSA encouraging families to complete the census; marched in the Peace Rally; and, performed with the nationally recognized step team at Lee Hamilton. She also enjoys performing in many of the theatrical plays as well as expanding her creative arts skills in videography and graphic design sessions at the Teen Center. Thanks to Club supporter Laura Herring, all four contestants plus the current Youth of the Year will each receive $500 scholarships!
Thanks to co-chairs LaVicki Hart, Jess Moore, Karen Morrison and Lynn Ann Vogel as well as the event committee and staff. Special mention to presenting sponsor Centene and Blue Door sponsors BJC, LaVicki Hart (The Hart Team, CBG), USBank, Lynn Ann & Paul Vogel and other companies and individuals who helped make the event a success! Proceeds support activities and experiences designed to help girls develop healthy lifestyles, positive self-esteem and make good decisions.
To view pictures from the event, click here.
News from BGCSTL 1st Q 2021
News 1st Q 2021
Great Futures Moments – News from BGCSTL
News 2nd Q
Great Futures Moments – News Updates from BGCSTL
2nd Q 2021, click here.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis (BGCSTL) is proud to announce the 2017 Youth of the Year winner JaLisa Wines! Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club member can receive. A premier youth recognition program, it recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club.
As the new Youth of the Year and ambassador for Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis, this 17 year old Herbert Hoover Club member is a true example of an extraordinary young woman for her leadership, service, academic excellence and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle. Now that she’s won the honor, JaLisa says, “I want to motivate youth to achieve their goals by implementing programs that will positively change society.” She is a senior at Confluence Preparatory Academy and plans to attend Truman State University to become an Accountant.
JaLisa was selected from a group of eleven finalists who shared their story of perseverance and dedication to their family, Club and community before a panel of judges who chose the winner. In addition to being crowned the title at BGCSTL’s Great Futures Gala, she also received a $2500 scholarship.
“The Youth of the Year honorees are shining examples and living proof that great futures start at Boys & Girls Clubs. We are so proud of all of our Youth of the Year participants who took the time to complete this challenging and worthwhile process. All possess the ability and ambition to be successful leaders,” said Dr. Flint Fowler, President, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis.
To view or share the Youth of the Year video highlighting all of the finalists, click here.
After a successful Back-to-School event where the St. Louis REALTORS® Association and its affiliates purchased backpacks and school supplies for over 1,000 youth ages 6-18, they were on to the next opportunity to place smiles on the faces of Boys & Girls Clubs youth! Thanks to the association and its volunteers for coming together Halloween weekend to build a haunted house, buy materials and collecting/buying candy treats for over 500 members at BGCSTL Herbert Hoover Club this past Halloween night. To see video from the Spooktacular event, click here.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis is extremely grateful to UPS Foundation for supporting the issue of distracted driving for teens with their UPS Road Code program. Over 200 teens from our Clubs have been able to experience this life-saving program that helps them make smart decisions on the road. In Missouri alone, 80% of car crashes involve distracted driving; Missourians younger than 25 make up 30% of those fatalities or find themselves in need of a local attorney similar to these attorneys in Springfield IL. UPS Road Code equips our teens with the education needed to avoid life altering situations.
The program includes pre and post-tests to gauge their safe driving knowledge, 2-4 hour learning sessions and one of the teen favorites, behind-the-wheel simulators that give them real life, on the road driving scenarios! BGCSTL teens are itching to drive, and UPS Road Code helps them do that safely!
As part of the National Teen Driver Safety week, an event was held at our Herbert Hoover Club where 100 teens signed commitments to drive distraction free & Mayor Francis Slay proclaimed 10/13 teen safe driving day!
UPS Road Code and BGCSTL were featured on KPLR’s “The Pulse” thirty minute program with Shirley Washington. To view the segment, click here.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis Ferguson Club members Danielle and Troy were selected to perform for over 400 Boys & Girls Clubs professionals at the National Midwest Conference in Louisville, Kentucky this past week! Danielle was also chosen to participate on a teen panel. #greatfutures #BGCSTLproud
View Troy’s performance, here. View Danielle’s performance, here. See Danielle & Troy’s duet, here.
Thanks to Good Sports, McDonald’s and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis members have received 922 pieces of equipment, including football helmets, soccer balls and goals, sports apparel, track spikes, jump ropes, playground balls, footballs and more. The total value of the donation was $15,414.39 and will impact close to 2,000 area kids.
BGCSTL received the equipment as the Grand Prize award winner of the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group’s Let’s Play initiative. The competition was launched to provide kids in the St. Louis community with the sports equipment they need to be active. The Let’s Play Challenge invited McDonald’s restaurant employees in the St. Louis community to nominate deserving youth-serving area organizations that they felt would benefit from a donation of brand new sports equipment.
During the event where the equipment was unveiled to BGCSTL Herbert Hoover Club members, all of the community partners involved spoke while kids participated in active games, such as soccer and flag football, to break in the new equipment.
Bayer’s Consumer Health Division, the makers of Claritin®, the #1 selling non-drowsy allergy brand, teamed up with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to help youth enjoy the benefits of being outdoors. The makers of Claritin funded the makeover of outdoor spaces at Clubs in three cities across the country, including St. Louis! The new initiative encourages play and creates active spaces for youth.
Their donation covered the cost to renovate and update the tennis courts at BGCSTL Herbert Hoover Club! Improvements included repairing the damaged fencing and gate, filling the cracks, resurfacing, new netting and US Open style colors on the court.
Long known for our efforts to encourage healthy lifestyles for members, we will use these courts to teach the game of tennis and promote fitness.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Ferguson members Troy, Danielle and Mariah were presented with the opportunity to participate in a recent Arts & Faith St. Louis High School and College Student Video Contest. Each submission required participants to submit a video that expressed their hopes on how to create a more harmonious St. Louis. At the same time, a group of Club members, including Troy, had been given an assignment during their Boys & Girls Club Music Studio session to write a song about love or unity – everyone picked love – except for Troy.
This group of powerful and talented teens wrote, performed and taped an original song to submit for the contest. The song, “Hold On”, was performed by Troy Staten and written in association with the Club’s Music Studio and Project L.A.M. under the direction of two time Grammy award winner Alonzo “Zo” Lee and songwriter Antonio Dunn.
Turns out Troy won the competition and the opportunity to perform his song live at the Arts & Faith St. Louis 10th anniversary 9/11 interfaith commemoration in music at The Sheldon Concert Hall! He was also featured as one of the “Harris Heroes” on KMOV News 4 and on HEC-TV. To view the KMOV news clip, click here.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis recently celebrated the retirement of Board Chair Steve Bloom of Enterprise Holdings where he served as President of Enterprise Fleet Management and Senior Vice President of Enterprise Car Sales. He is also wrapping up his time as our Chief Volunteer Officer. Steve and his wife Kelly have been tremendous champions for the Club – contributing their time, resources and talent for more than ten years. In addition to his services as Board Chair, he led our agency through a successful name change, co-chaired our annual fundraiser All That Jazz (now known as Great Futures Gala) that provides life-changing opportunities for our kids, and encouraged dozens of his friends and associates to support our work. Since Steve is a huge hockey fan, we couldn’t think of a better way to send him off to Colorado than with an authentic jersey and hockey stick signed by St. Louis Blues right winger, Vladimir Tarasenko. Thanks Steve for making life better for many! We will miss you!
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis is grateful to announce the recent contribution from an anonymous donor in the amount of $70,000 to support general Club operations. Although the donor is unknown, the impact of their gift will be evident in the lives of the children we serve. For more information on how you can support the Boys & Girls Clubs, contact Ruth Lederman.
Facing a critical shortage of backpacks and school supplies to accommodate the more than 6,500 children across all county and city school districts served by Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis, we turned to St. Louis REALTORS® and its nearly 8,000 members to help raise the necessary supplies our youth would need to succeed in school this fall. Without hesitation, St. Louis REALTORS and its members purchased hundreds of backpacks and thousands of school supplies, which were distributed to more than 500 children on July 28 during one of the Clubs final Triple Play Days at its Herbert Hoover Club located at 2901 N. Grand Avenue. As part of the event, several Club youth helped stuff the backpacks for their peers. View the adorable kids in the video below. Click here to see the full video.
Two Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis – Twillman Club members were the first to experience the new Busch Stadium Build-A-Bear Workshop location. They had a “bear-y” good time with former Cardinals pitcher Kyle McClellan as he helped them build bears from start to finish including selecting their attire, accessories, voice, heart and more! Click here to see the full video.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis Youth of the Year, Shaila Jones, experienced throwing out the 1st pitch during a Sunday night Cardinals game. As part of the Build-A-Bear Workshop themed night at Busch Stadium, which included a bear giveaway, the Build-A-Bear team was also offered the chance to throw out the first pitch but rather than have one of their reps do it, they wanted to extend this opportunity to one of our Club youth! Build-A-Bear also made it possible for Shaila’s parents and family to enjoy this experience and the game with her as well! Click here to see Shaila throw the ball.
Over 100 BGCSTL Herbert Hoover Club members are now more confident when it comes to swimming and more familiar with lifesaving water-safety skills thanks to ZAC Camp!
A Club Member shared about the camp, “ZAC Camp has given me confidence! Now when my family asks me to go swimming on the weekend, I’ll be excited to go instead of shy away from it!”
To continue the remarkable legacy of 6-year-old Zachary Archer Cohn who drowned in a drain entrapment in 2007, Conn.-based water safety organization The ZAC Foundation teamed up with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis to bring the Foundation’s award-winning ZAC Camp to five to nine-year-old’s through its grant program. The ZAC Camp program combined in-pool swimming lessons, safety classes with First Responders, and classroom curriculum based on tenets of water safety taught in a children’s book co-authored by Zachary’s parents – The Polar Bear Who Couldn’t, Wouldn’t Swim. By week’s end campers were equipped with critical tools to lead them on the path to safe swimming, including: fundamental stroke training, emergency preparedness and response, and basic lifesaving techniques.
Congratulations to the 11 Normandy High School members participating in the BGCSTL Be Great Graduate program on their graduation from the UPS Road Code program yesterday! UPS Road Code is a free national program educating teens on safe driving techniques.The program focuses on various safety principles, from basic instructions to the consequences of risky behaviors such as talking on cell phones, texting or drinking while driving. Members practice what they learn on driving simulators which feature a computer screen that serves as a windshield to the programs interactive animation, a steering wheel, gas and brake pedals.