By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Let's hear it for the Boys and Girls Club
Placeholder Image
Two weeks ago I had the honor of being asked to serve on the Barksdale Boys and Girls Club. I am proud to say that I have had the opportunity to serve on many Boys and Girls club boards around the country and I myself am a product of the Jelliff Boys Club of Washington DC.
I have seen the smiles and the tears of children who without our local club would have no one to share their joys or their sadness with. The safe haven that is provided by the club is especially important during these times, in the dangerous and careless society we live in.
The club has always been open to all children no matter what their nationality, race, religion or income level. Even if you don't have kids that are now affected by the club, the tax money being saved by Conyers and Rockdale County and as a result you is enormous. Because we have an active Boys and Girls Club here Rockdale County does not have to provide many services that are especially designed for children, because the Barksdale club already does that.
These costly services are being paid for through the generosity of folks like you and me who support the fantastic programs the Boys and Girls club has to offer.
The Barksdale Boys and Girls Club also provides support for families, our local club never turns away any child regardless of their abilities to pay for the membership and for the activities offered.
One of my most proud moments was helping start a program for the "motel kids" club located in Cypress, California. These were families with children who lived in run down motels, sometimes 6 or 7 to a room, which I guess was better than living in cars.
This program provide by the Cypress Boys and Girls club provided transportation and care for these kids and helped show them that people did care for them.
Another great moment was when we were able to start a program that dealt with the military kids of the families who were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I actually served as president of the last Girls Club before the Boys and Girls Clubs merged in the seventies.
One of the fondest memories that I have though, was of the year that I spent as a card-carrying 85-pound football star for the Jelliff Boys Club located to this very day in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
The star part I have just now added to my special thought, and I'm sure that in a few more years, I really will have some stories created in my mind that will help me really become that star.
I remember this special time so well because it allowed me to spend time with my father, who was busy working two jobs and going back to college at the time.
My father, from all accounts, usually his, was a very good athlete in his day, and was a member of the Georgetown Boys Club as a youth and I believe he now is in the club's hall of fame.
I haven't been nominated for that honor myself yet. I am sure I will be someday after I develop those stories on how I was the star of the team.
Some of my father's friends when he was a member of the Boys Club now had children back in 1958 that were themselves members of the club.
My father decided that playing football for his alma mater Boys Club would be a grand thing for me to do, so he drove down from D.C., where he worked, a couple of times a week, including Saturday and picked me up from the sixth grade at old St. Mary's in Annapolis, and drove me back to D.C. just in time for practice.
From Annapolis to D.C. was a 30-mile trip each way, so my Dad ended up driving 120 miles a day to see his oldest son play ball.
I enjoyed that special time with my father, and I know he enjoyed the time with his friends.
My football career was less than spectacular, although during the annual Turkey Bowl with the Eastern Boys Club, I did tackle the quarterback for a 20-yard loss, and I know my uncles and father who were in attendance, were very proud, I remember I actually got my pants dirty that day, not from the dusty bench but from actual dirt and grass.
My mother always said that I probably wasn't a good football player, because I thought too much.
I love my mother for thinking that, because I don't think that you could find one of my teachers who would have agreed with her.
Our team that year was undefeated and we won the 85-pound D.C. Boys Club championship.
I think our team picture is still hanging on the wall at the Jelliff Boys and Girls Club.
My best memory of the whole season though was after we won the championship, the dads all went to a dark and mysterious place called Pete Daley's in Georgetown and toasted their glory years, and I had a big chocolate milk shake and the biggest chili cheeseburger I ever saw.
I knew then what it was like to be a champion. Those were fond memories for me.
In Rockdale County, in 2010 the Boys and Girls Club served over 1,000 youths in their various programs. Every one of those kids has a special memory like mine because of you.
The club's annual awards dinner will be held on Saturday August 7, at the Acuity Brands Lighting Peoples Center located at 1 Lithonia Way in Conyers.
The theme this year involves a VIP reception. If you come you will feel like a VIP for sure, with entertainment, wine tasting and a great auction - wow! You can actually attend a fund raiser, have fun and dress to the nines if you wish.
The tickets are only $75 per person - a small price to pay in order that our kids have the safest and most fun filled environment of any place in Rockdale County.
You can order tickets on line at, and you can also stop by the club located at 1015 O'Kelly St. in Conyers.
If you want to call me, at 678-750-5017 I'll be glad to talk about that big milkshake and cheeseburger that I remember so well, or the reward or benefit that you yourself might have as a result of being a supporter of the Boys & Girls Club of Conyers-Rockdale County.