BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF GREATER KANSAS CITY ANNOUNCES 2016 ALUMNI HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 9, 2016

For Interviews or More Information:
Sharon Cleaver, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City
Office: 816-462-0136, Mobile: 816-674-3721
Email Address: scleaver@helpkckids.org / Web site: www.helpKCkids.org

BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF GREATER KANSAS CITY ANNOUNCES 2016 ALUMNI HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES

KANSAS CITY, Mo — The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City (BGCGKC) honored five Alumni Hall of Fame inductees during the Clubs’ Graduation Celebration on Tuesday, May 3, at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, 4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, Missouri.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City Alumni Hall of Fame program serves as a means of recognizing, preserving and honoring the more than 100 year legacy of the Clubs. The Hall of Fame’s mission is to recognize contributions embodied in the Boys & Girls Clubs’ motto: “Great Futures Start Here.”

Inductees are former members or volunteers of the Boys Club, Boys & Girls Clubs or any of its affiliates, who have made positive contributions to youth, to the community and have achieved success in their careers. A closer examination of the 2016 inductees into Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City’s Alumni Hall of Fame proves the Club does indeed create Great Futures.

Kevin Mahogany, world renowned jazz vocalist and musician, was the recipient of the Alumni of the Year Award. Mahogany, who has been described by Newsweek magazine as “the standout jazz vocalist of his generation”, got his start as a musician participating in the 4H Boys & Girls Clubs Jazz Ensemble. The group played for multiple Boys & Girls Club events as well as toured Kansas City parks during the summer, providing outdoor entertainment for families. Mahogany currently resides in Florida but continues to return home to Kansas City to play at multiple events in the Historic Jazz District and at the Kauffman Performing Arts Center.

Sport Alumni of the Year Award was presented to the Peeler family. Larry Peeler worked alongside John Thornberry when the Clubs’ Thornberry Unit opened its’ doors in 1967. Peeler went on to coach numerous sporting teams at the Clubs, taking both basketball and baseball teams to the national championships. In 1968, Peeler’s wife, Carolyn Peeler began working as the Clubs’ membership secretary in the administrative office located on 19th Street in Kansas City, Missouri. The Peeler children were also very active in the Clubs, including Anthony Peeler who began attending the Boys & Girls Clubs at the age of five. Anthony Peeler learned to play basketball in the Clubs receiving coaching from his father Larry Peeler as well as Lester Burks and Alvin Clark, Sr., both past recipients of the Clubs’ Sport Alumni of the Year honor. Anthony Peeler went on to enjoy a 13-year career in the NBA.

The recipients of the Service Alumni of the Year Awards were Catherine Ray, Robert Palmer and John Palmer.

Catherine Ray contributed in countless ways to the Boys & Girls Clubs. From cooking meals for Club kids and assistance with Club reading programs, to making regular financial gifts and service on the Board of Directors, Ray was considered to be one of the Clubs’ strongest volunteers. Ray’s service to the Clubs expanded the course of nearly thirty years.

Robert Palmer, former assistant executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, served the organization for more than 34 years. Palmer’s son, business executive John Palmer, virtually grew up in the Clubs. For a number of years, John Palmer underwrote the dinners for the Clubs Steak and Hamburger Dinner, the predecessor to the present Kids Night Out fund-raising event, so that all of the proceeds would go to the Boys & Girls Clubs.

“Over the course of more than 100 years, the Clubs have had a positive impact on a countless number of youth in our community,” said Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City President and Club Alumnus, Dave Smith.

“It is important to us that we honor individuals who, through the gift of their time and talent, have had a direct impact on these youth as well as honor those who are a product of the work of the Clubs,” Smith continued. “We are extremely proud of and grateful for our alumni and friends.”

About the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City
For more than one hundred years, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City has provided a fun and safe environment for youth, ages 5-18, to learn, play, meet new friends and grow. From sports, digital arts and media to group activities and tutoring, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City provides top-quality programs to nearly 1,000 area youth each day. Whether it is learning how an individual can make a difference in his/her community or learning how to play basketball – the Clubs strive to help youth feel important and put their dreams of a Great Future within reach. For more information, visit www.helpKCkids.org or facebook.com/helpKCkids

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