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September's Youth of the Month!

September 22nd, 2015

Our Youth of the Month (YOM) program spotlights a Club member who truly represents the mission of our Clubs. Staff will decide on a YOM based on their involvement in different activities and behavior. It is a program that helps to build our participation in the national Youth of the Year program.

Congratulations to SEPTEMBER's Youth of the Month Winners:

Steil Club (Elementary): Wayne
Why Staff Selected Wayne: Wayne is our Elementary Youth of the Month.  Wayne is a brand new member who started making an impact on the Club the first day he came in.  He constantly asks if there is anything he can do to help and helps with a smile.

Steil Club (Teen): Jadia
Why Staff Selected Jadia: Jadia is our Teen Youth of the Month. She has basically become a staff member at the Club. She loves to help in the Learning Center, and the kids respect her leadership there.

 

Paul I. Phillips Club: Madison
Why Staff Selected Madison: Madison is the Paul I. Phillips Youth of the Month because she is always kind and enthusiastic and participates in a variety of programs and activities.

 

 

Seidman Club: Jania
Why Staff Selected Jania: Seidman's Youth of the Month is Jania who has been a member for one year. Jania has a bubbling personality and is always looking to assist staff around the Club. Jania has SWAG aka students with a goal.

 

 

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#1 Sean said:

Can I come to wasn't going to school

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Be Great Tailgate Success!

September 20th, 2015

With over 320 people attending this event, and over $100,000 raised for Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids, we are considering this another BE GREAT TAILGATE SUCCESS! From delicious food at Two Scott’s, to amazing beer from Brewery Vivant, and unbelievable auction items like Grandstand tickets to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Legend’s Tickets, this event did not miss a beat. The Seidman Wildcat Cheerleaders performed a cheer for the crowd, and we honored our BE GREAT Award winners: Wege Foundation, Taco Bell, and Bruce & Candace Matthews.

“Our supporters' commitment to creating a better future helped make our award ceremony a huge success, and models responsible civic engagement for the children in our community," said Executive Director Rick Huisman. "With child poverty at its highest in fifty years, there are so many kids who doubt their ability to build a better future for themselves. At Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth, we understand that the next generation is its own best hope; that children have the strength and courage to change their lives and community.” 

Events like our Be Great Tailgate help us continue to provide world class programming to our youth. Thank you for your help and support. Mark your calendars for the next Be Great Tailgate happening on September 14, 2016.

See photos of this event here!

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Welcome New Board Members!

September 15th, 2015

Our Clubs rely heavily on the support and hard work of our Board of Directors. We'd like to welcome three new members to our Board: Dave Majestic, Dr. Brandy Lovelady Mitchell, and Bill Pink, Ph.D. Please read more about them below!

Dave Majestic

Dave Majestic is the Vice President of Operations for Spectrum Health Medical Group overseeing the operations of the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and Women’s Health Physicians.  Dave’s professional background includes 25 years of working mainly in financial roles (public accounting with Deloitte and Finance roles at Spectrum Health) and more recently operations, September 2014, VP of Operations.

Dave earned his Bachelors of Business Administration from Western Michigan University and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).  Dave is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants, Healthcare Financial Management Association, and the American Medical Group Association.

Dave lives in Jenison.  He and his wife Heather have two children, Nick (12) and Abby (9).  In his free time Dave enjoys golfing, reading and spending quality time with his family on camping trips throughout Michigan in the summer.

Dr. Brandy Lovelady Mitchell

Dr. Brandy Lovelady Mitchell is a lifelong children’s advocate who is passionate about education and helping students and educational staff maximize their potential. She began her career at what is now Network 180, connecting children and families in mental health and substance abuse services. From there she took her love of children to the most logical place – our public schools, as a School Counselor, Guidance Classroom Teacher, Consultant, Assistant Principal, Lead Administrator and now Principal for Kent Innovation High (Kent ISD). Dr. Lovelady Mitchell has worked as a consultant with many of the schools in Kent County. Her years of service stem from her work with Kentwood Public Schools and through her current positions at Kent ISD. For the past 15 years, Brandy has advised students through their education and beyond, into future careers.

Like many educators, Brandy has a true love of learning. This, combined with the influence of her parents, led her to continue her own education with a host of degrees, although she was the first in her family to go to college. 

Dr. Lovelady Mitchell recently completed a Doctorate of Education Leadership at Eastern Michigan University. Her doctoral studies focused on high-achieving black males at the secondary level. Dr. Lovelady Mitchell says her intention is to help educators and key stakeholders shift the narrative from pathologies to the success stories of children of color. Her professional work and doctoral studies caused Eastern Michigan University to describe her as an “upcoming educator to watch” and the university recently honored her as one of their 2015 Scholars of Excellence. She was also recently named an Elite Educationalist by the grand Rapids Historically Black Colleges and Universities Tour Experience.

Brandy is a member of several professional associations including the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals and the American Education Research Association. 

She loves spending her free time with her family, reading and attempting to learn to golf, which comes at the expense, unfortunately, of her husband’s bent and battered golf clubs.

Bill Pink, Ph. D.

Dr. Bill Pink is Vice President and Dean for Workforce Development at Grand Rapids Community College.  Prior to taking this post in March, Dr. Pink served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Oklahoma State University- Oklahoma City. While Abilene, Texas is his hometown, Dr. Pink lived in Oklahoma City for the past 18 years before making Grand Rapids home.  He has been an educator for 25 years, and has taught and/or coached in Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Oregon. He was a successful college student-athlete as a basketball player, earning awards for his athletic and academic achievements.

Dr. Pink has an Associate’s Degree from York College, Nebraska, a Bachelor’s from Oklahoma Christian University, a Master’s from the University of Central Oklahoma, and a Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma.  Dr. Pink has been involved with several local, as well as national initiatives and service including the Board of Directors, Family Builders of Oklahoma City; former National Conference Co-Chair for Dream Deferred: The Future of African-American Education; and member of the Selection Committee, National Merit Scholarship Council.  Dr. Pink is a sought after public speaker, and has accumulated numerous invitations to speak at events across the U.S.  His topics are usually associated with diversity, leadership, and faith-based presentations. Aside from being a teacher-educator, Dr. Pink teaches public speaking courses as well as athletic administration courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Along with a daily workout regimen, Bill loves playing golf and fishing. His wife is Lori, and their two children are Lance and Lydia. Prior to their recent move to Grand Rapids, Lori, a Michigan native, worked for the Federal Aviation Administration. Lance is a member of the United States Marine Corps, and Lydia is 12 years-old with a love for archery and playing volleyball. 

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Meet our New GRPD Officers!

September 10th, 2015

Our Clubs have had a longstanding partnership with the Grand Rapids Police Department, and we are happy to announce two wonderful new officers joining our Clubs this year. We thought we'd let you get to know them just a little bit better...

Officer Joshua Cudney

(Pictured left with girlfriend Ann)

Q) Tell us a little about yourself and background.

A) I am a graduate of Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. I went to police academy at GVSU. I previously worked in Norton Shores on patrol for two years and have been with GRPD for the past 1.5 years. I am a member of the GRPD peer support team and an advisor for the GRPD Explorer Program. (Explorer Program is a youth program for kids ages 14-21 with an interest in law enforcement. We meet biweekly and cover various police topics. The kids can do ride alongs with officers and participate in a yearly state competition and explorer youth academy.) I also spent six years in the army national guard 1776th military police company as a sergeant and deployed once to Afghanistan where I worked in a detainee facility. I played high school football, soccer and swimming and diving. I enjoy reading, relaxing, going to the lake and beach, playing with my dog, staying fit and working on remolding my house.

Q) What are you looking forward to most about working at the Clubs?

A) Obviously, I look forward to working with the kids.

Q) Why do you think it is important to cultivate positive relationships with police officers and youth?

A) I think it is important to cultivate a positive relationship with police officers and youth to change perspective and to gain understanding. It’s good working with the kids to show them police officers are regular people who work in the community. I like showing the kids that I can be understanding, listen, can relate, make mistakes, apologize, laugh, crack jokes, play sports, show responsibility, show reliability, be honest, enforce the club rules and be respectful. Essentially, coming down to the kids level to provide them with an example of a positive role model while breaking down the walls, assumptions, and paradigms that the kids may have in relation to law enforcement, especially in the limelight of negative media and social groups opinion.

Q) What is your hidden talent?

A) My hidden talent is my love for old tv shows and movies, such as "I Love Lucy", "Hogan's Heroes", "The Lawrence Welks Show", "Twelve Angry Men", "The Fountainhead", and any Gary Cooper and James Steward film.

 

Officer Bill Moe

Q) Tell us a little about yourself and background.

A) I have been a police officer in the city of Grand Rapids for 25.5 years. Most of that time has been on patrol with a couple of years on the SRT/Neighborhood Patrol Unit (SWAT team), and one prior year with Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth back in the late 90s. 

I have coached football, basketball, and hockey. The last 15 years or so since I began having children, I have just coached hockey.

I am married, and have two sons and a daughter who are very active in sports.  My wife is a Grand Rapids Public School Teacher in the inner city.

Q) What are you looking forward to most about working at the Clubs?

A) Working on the proactive preventive side of police work rather then the reactive side. I look forward to cultivating positive relationships with the youth of all the Clubs.

Q) Why do you think it is important to cultivate positive relationships with police officers and youth?

A) For many of our members at the Clubs, and for a high percentage of inner city at risk children in America, the Police have always been portrayed as their enemy since day one based on what they have learned from their family and friends. The media has further hurt our police image in recent years with concentrating their news coverage on the few controversial arrests rather then the thousands of positive police contacts and arrest that occur each day in America. We police officers at the Clubs have the opportunity to prove our stereotype image as racist or uncle Tom's as completely false. We do care about the citizens we protect, and we can be positive role models to the children we serve. We can help change their lives for the better.

Q) What is your hidden talent?

A) I am a very good sailor and compete in the Chicago to Mackinaw Race each summer with my own boat and crew of eight.

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BE FIT Festival

September 5th, 2015

The BE FIT Festival, held this year on September 2nd, was a huge success!  This day was a chance for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids to make a positive impact on the lives of children and their families in the Grand Rapids community. The event was held as part of the Healthy Michigan Today initiative. 

We had 710 total people show up for the event (between the three clubs)! The first 600 youth received backpacks to start the school year off right. Thanks to our generous donors and partners, we were also able to giveaway 75 bikes to help our youth stay healthy when at home. 

A special thanks to all the partners who helped make this event possible:

  • Michigan Health Endowment Fund
  • Teleperformance USA (donated 600 backpacks)
  • Celebration Cinema & Family Fitness (donated 75 bikes / volunteers)
  • Michigan Apple Committee (donated 600 apples)
  • Old Orchard (donated juice and lemonade)
  • Spectrum Health Young Professionals (volunteers)
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (volunteers)
  • BeachFit (volunteers / donated water)

See more photos from this event here.

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Contact Us

for direct numbers to specific departments and staff visit the contact page.

Administration

slemahieudunn@b...

(616) 233.9370 x102

235 Straight Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI
49504

Steil Club

rhuizenga@bgcgr...

(616) 233.9370 x110

235 Straight Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI
49504

Paul I. Phillips

sflood@bgcgrand...

(616) 719.0775

726 Madison Ave SE
Grand Rapids, MI
49503

Seidman Club

dowens@bgcgrand...

(616) 452.0061

139 Crofton Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI
49507

Camp O'Malley

tim@campomalley...

(616) 871.6551

7360 Thornapple Dales
Alto, MI
49302