This Month at the Clubs – December 2016

 

Monthly News and Updates from the Clubs

“Thanks for everything, Coach Don Motley!”

A tribute to Coach Motley by Dave Smith, President & Club Alumnus

 
Coach Don Motley, 1927 – 2016

Kansas City lost an icon in youth baseball when Coach Don Motley passed this past November. For over five decades, Coach, as he was affectionately known, had a profound impact on thousands of our youth, including yours truly. Coach Motley taught the game of life through his tough but caring devotion to teaching young men the game of baseball.  His countless hours of service and mentoring may never be repeated or seen again and his legacy will live on for generations to come. Coach had a special way of demanding the best from his ball payers and helping us respect the game by requiring excellence and dedication both on and off the field. His contributions to our development will never be forgotten.

His influence and mark can be seen all across the city and this country in the countless numbers of young men who benefited from his teachings and his example of discipline and hard work. As an Affirmative Action Officer for the US Postal Service, Coach was also a pioneer in his work for equality for anyone who experienced unfair treatment or bias in the workplace. His unrelenting expectations around respecting others and playing by the rules characterized his lifelong pursuit and quest for excellence in all that he did. In recognition and celebration of his outstanding commitment, dedication and influence, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City honored Coach Motley with the 2014 John J. ‘Buck’ O’Neil Diamond MVP Award.

His many “sons” (as he affectionately called his boys) are living witness to his standards and approach to a winning life marked by giving your best at all times. It was my privilege and honor to be known as one of those boys he guided and encouraged during his long and stellar career as mentor, coach, leader and inspirational force for so many.  His gruff but sincere mannerisms were often behind his demand to “give me 25 laps”, whenever one didn’t live up to his standards on the field. He continued to sentence his “boys” to this exhausting fate if he observed you not doing your best as an adult in real life.

God broke the mold when he created Coach Don Motley and we will always be thankful and blessed by his place in our lives. Let’s give him those 25 laps in all that we do to be positive contributors to our youth and community in tribute to a one of a kind hero known as Coach!

2016 MAMM Performance Showcase

 

Held on Saturday, November 26th, the Media Arts Music Matters (MAMM) 2016 Showcase was an amazing display of talent, hard work and efforts brought to our community by our teen MAMM members.

For months our Club kids committed themselves to working on the MAMM Showcase. The MAMM program, which is funded by Jackson County COMBAT, provides teens at risk of gang involvement a positive outlet and focus. The Showcase featured spotlighted performances on each of the nine COMBAT AVSI focus areas in various art forms. Teens created original works in spoken word, public service announcements, rap, R&B and music soundtracks. Performances also included a fashion show and praise dancing. This is only the beginning of what is coming in 2017 for MAMM.

A huge thank you goes to Jackson County COMBAT and the MAMM project management team, David Porter, Michael Harris and Brandon Lewis, for the hard work and long hours that they put in to ensure that members would put on a show that they would be proud of.

Thank you also to JCPenney, Old Navy, J Arts Specialist and Moraima “MO” Hernandez (hairstylist). The donations and support given by each of you made this event one of the best that we have ever put on.

Click here to see a playlist of the MAMM Showcase performances.

Seniors on the Move

 
Jean Pierre celebrates his acceptance to Louisiana Tech University

Throughout the fall, our teen services staff and high school senior Club members worked to complete and submit college applications. Many hours were spent on the process and the hard work has already paid off. The following members of the Class of 2017 have already received their college acceptance letters:

  • Liz G. – Missouri Western State University and Missouri Southern State University
  • Natalie R. – Missouri Western State University and Missouri Southern State University
  • Alexis W. – Missouri Western State University
  • Papay G. – Oklahoma University
  • Jean Pierre H. – Louisiana Tech University

With their post-secondary plans in place, these five seniors are on their way to a Great Future! Congratulations!

From KC to Atlanta!

 
Cipher Group in Atlanta, GA

Our Eastern Jackson County teens recently participated in the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s inaugural Lyricism 101 Cipher Competition. The group was selected as one the competition’s finalists, which landed them a trip to the great city of Atlanta, GA!  While in Atlanta, the group participated in workshops to help explore and develop their creative talents, worked on their writing skills, and met others who shared the same passion for artistic expression that they do.

Our talented teens ended up taking second place in the National Cipher Competition! But even greater than that recognition was the education and priceless experiences that they shared in Atlanta!

RBI Staff Prepares Players for ACT Exam

 

This past fall, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) began offering ACT exam preparation classes to high school students. Living up to the program’s motto – “It’s more than baseball, it’s life”, the RBI department saw a need to prepare our young athletes mentally as well as physically. They created a 12-week ACT prep course at a nominal fee. The course included  a lot of ACT test practice, measuring progress and strengthening areas where weaknesses were identified. All 13 participants successfully completed their ACT prep sessions and took the exam on December 10th.

The RBI program strives to create opportunities and provide resources to help all participants be successful both on and off the field. Each player participant increased their ACT skills and gained valuable lessons in accountability.

Club Members Enjoy Holiday Fun at We Care Event

 
We Care Event

On Tuesday, December 6th, Herman Miller, John A. Marshall Company and a number of volunteers from the architecture and design community hosted this year’s We Care event at the Thornberry Unit.

For more than 20 years, John Marshall and the Herman Miller Group have provided an opportunity for Boys & Girls Club kids in nearly 30 cities across the country to create holiday gifts for their family and friends. Since its inception, several local architectural and design firms have joined the group bringing with them innovative arts and craft projects. Each participating firm created a craft station that would be the envy of the North Pole. Boys & Girls Club members were allowed to visit the craft stations and create special gifts for the holidays.

Our Club members were excited, engaged and most of all, they received the joy that comes with giving!

Clubs Are Open During the Holiday Break

 

The holiday break is fast approaching and parents who are seeking a fun, safe place to send their children can choose from one of our six locations right here in the Greater Kansas City Metro area. Clubs are open to children ages 5 – 18.  Holiday Break hours are from 7 am to 6 pm daily. Clubs will be closed on December 26th and January 2nd.

Daily activities will include recreational games, arts and crafts, sports and fitness activities, access to computer and games rooms, and meals and snacks. Club members have access to all of these activities with current Club membership and non-members can try the Clubs for one week FREE with the completion of a membership application packet.

See one of our six Club locations for details or visit our site at www.helpkckids.org.

In the event of inclement weather, please call our weather line at 816-462-0140.

SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT

 

Special thanks to Saint Luke’s Health System for being the new premier sponsor of the Clubs’ Sports L.A.B. program.