In 1959, the Boys Club of Bryan opened its doors for the first time to our youth. Approximately, 250 boys joined during its first week. Today, fifty years later, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Brazos Valley serves over 2,500 youth in six locations. On Thursday, the Club welcomes back club alumni, past presidents, board members, and community friends to help kick-off its 50th Anniversary year.
The celebration took place at the Hilton Ballroom and Dave South, club alumnus from Boys Club of Wichita Falls, served as emcee for the evening.
Mr. South began the evening by welcoming and honoring students from A&M Consolidated High School, Bryan High School, Mitchell Elementary, and Mary Branch Elementary and their families. He also recognized club alumni, past board members and past presidents for their service and support during its first 50 years.
Jim Caufield, Senior Vice President of Administrative Services for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America delivered the Keynote address. Mr. Caufield's dynamic presentation walked us through a historical timeline starting with the inception of Boys Clubs of America and included the past fifty years of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Brazos Valley.
Layla Fry, past alum of the club, presented the Service to Youth Awards to board members Belle Bramhall, Julia Gardner, and Nancy Berry for five years of Board service; Ken Medders, Jr. for his twelve years of service to Boys & Girls Clubs beginning as a founding member of the Club in San Benito and South Padre Island; Dr. Tommy Davis for his twenty years of service to the board; and Woody Thompson for his twenty five years of service to the board.
Renelle Love, Junior at Bryan High School and current club member, presented the Board Member of the Year award. This year the board of directors selected Jerry DuBose to receive this award.
Karen Mitchell, first female club member, presented the Partner Award to Texas A&M University for its continuous support in encouraging students to volunteer thousands of hours to the Club. Their passion to help club members continues to make a positive impact in each of the members' lives. Dr. Doug Palmer received this award on behalf of Texas A&M.
Jose Malave, Senior at A&M Consolidated High School and club member presented the Woman & Youth Award to Candy Parker Thompson for her fifty years of service to the Club.
Neha Shetty, a Sophomore at A&M Consolidated High School and club member, presented the Man & Youth Award to Kenneth Loke who has been instrumental in the growth of the Boys & Girls Club and it's youth development strategy.
Ron Rolett, President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Brazos Valley, honored the 2008 members of The Jeremiah Milbank Society. The Jeremiah Milbank Society is designated for individual donors who give an unrestricted donation of $10,000 or more to the club during a fiscal year. This year's members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Brazos Valley Jeremiah Milbank Society are: Ty & Keisha Warren, Mr. & Mrs. Donald Adam, Mr. Mark Kristen, The Plass Family, The Orr Family, and The Astin Family.
Mike Coffman, Regional Service Director, from Boys & Girls Clubs of America also presented Service to Youth Awards to staff members Gerald Carter and Lester Banks Jr. for 20 years of service to the Club.
This year's C.A.R.E. Award was presented by Brooke Price, a Senior at A&M Consolidated High School and club member, to the Swalm Foundation. The Swalm Foundation is offering a scholarship program to assist qualified members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Brazos Valley to attend Blinn College.
Jim Caufield, Vice President of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, presented the Boys & Girls Club Medallion to Woody Thompson for unusually devoted service to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Brazos Valley.
Officers for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Brazos Valley were installed during the evening's celebration as well. Serving for 2009 will be Chairperson Ken Medders, Jr., Chairperson Elect Kathy Joyce, Vice Chairperson Jim Beard, Secretary Cynthia Gay, and Treasurer Woody Thompson.
Installed to the Board for another term were Jerry DuBose, Emil Ogden, Steve Mobley, Vicki Reim, Marty Criswell, Kathy Joyce, Jim Beard, and Barbara Clemmons.
New Board Members included Kyle Hawthorne, John Webb, John Allen, Mike Newman, and Ralph Davilla.