Goforth Playground Dream Become a Reality

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Sofie Goforth is surrounded by family members as she embraced the permanent marker of the new playground.
The dedication of the Joe and Sophia Goforth playground was held on June 28th, with a gathering of Joe and Sophia’s family members, Cleveland County dignitaries, members of the Boys & Girls Club and those who generously contributed to make it happen. The proposal for the playground
began in November of 2012. Eight months later it’s become a reality. Board President, Jack Weller spoke of how the project emerged. At the end of his remarks, he recalled how Joe would always give you a gift whenever you would visit him. In keeping with that tradition, Boys & Girls Club caps were given out. Jack said: “Each time you wear it, think of Joe and Sophia Goforth, of their lives as being givers, of their compassion to help others, and of how they wanted to make a difference in the lives of children. Uncle Joe, thank you for being an inspiration for all of us.” Remarks
honoring Uncle Joe and Aunt Sophia were given by Susan Goforth Porter, their niece. After a prayer and dedication of the playground, by Board Member Bob Chadwick, the children sang “Thank You For Being A Friend”. It was at this time that the plaque was unveiled. The event, just like the man and his wife, was “one of a kind”.
-M.A. Andrews, Shelby Shopper
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Members of the Boys & Girls Club
celebrate the “dream come true”.

Joe and Sophia Goforth Playground at the Boys & Girls Club

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February 27 to March 1 the National Playground Contractors Association International (NPCAI) will conduct the 2013 Winter Playground Construction School at the Cleveland Community College LeGrand Center. Current Playground Professionals along with those new to the Playground Industry from across the country are scheduled to be part of the three day school under the direction of Roger Davis, current Chair of the Playground Construction School, past NPCAI Chair and owner of Playground Safety Services.
Roger explained that NPCAI offers this school twice a year in various locations around the United States. This is the second time the school has been presented in North Carolina, the last one being in Charlotte in 2008. Students will learn the “Best Practices” of SAFE Playground Construction with Sessions on playground design using national standards for safety, aesthetics and the environment, working with general contractors, controlling cost, and long term maintenance. The sessions are a combination of presentations and hands on exercises taught by Instructors who are considered to be experts in the Field of Playground Construction explained Davis, who was also involved in the very first school in Orlando, FL in 2005.
In this School, the PCS students are able to be part of an ACTUAL Playground Build which is why moving the school from Charlotte to Shelby made sense. By utilizing the resources that Shelby and Cleveland County have to offer, the NPCAI Board supported Roger on his idea that a “Home Town” School would enable us to do more. On the second day of class, the students will be at the Boys & Girls Club learning how to layout the playground, evaluate slope of the land for drainage, and ensure ease of access for future work on the playground. Finally, on the third day of the school the students will help prepare the site for the community build and take a final exam to receive their National Certificate.
“When we got approval to offer the school in Shelby, I wanted to add a community build component to the class. This is where the students will layout an actual playground that will be built by the PCS Students and Community Volunteers.” Roger approached the Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland County to be the partner in the community build portion of the class.
“We feel truly blessed to have this collaborative effort happen March 1 and 2 at the Club.” shared Jack Weller, Boys & Girls Club Board President. The playground will feature four slides, a climbing wall, a ring ladder, and is handicap accessible. In addition it will have 8 swings, four tetherball courts and four outdoor tables that will be used as an outdoor classroom during the Jack Schweppe Summer Day Camp.
The community has come forward to support the project
financially under the direction of Susan Goforth Porter, niece of Joe and Sophia Goforth. Through her efforts and those of a group of community volunteers they are on track to meet the $32,000 cost of the playground. Goforth shared at a recent meeting of the Shelby Kiwanis Club, “Uncle Joe and Aunt Sophia accepted each of their nieces and nephews with unconditional love. Building this tribute to them is a way that we may provide other children an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and have fun.”
Jack Weller has recruited several organizations to help with the build. Students from the Burns High School Future Farmers of America Chapter and students from the Crest High School Key Club will help on Saturday along with employees from Clearwater Paper plant, officers from the Cleveland County Sherriff’s Office and Shelby City Police Department, and volunteers from the Shelby Kiwanis Club and members of the Boys & Girls Club Board of Directors.
Friday afternoon teams of volunteers, PCS Students along with Employees of Playground Safety Services will do some pre-assembly work on part of the playground so that on Saturday morning, the “Build Portion” of the Project will start around 8:30 and finish around 2:00 pm. If you are interested in helping with the community build on Saturday, please contact Roger Davis at 704-487-7774 Playground Safety Services.
“Joe Goforth loved people and looked for ways for different organizations and people to work together. He would be proud of the many individuals and groups are coming together to make this community build a reality.”

Kids at Boys & Girls Club Excited About New Playground

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(Left to Right) Gladymar Martinez, 4th grader at Graham Elementary; Jaylen
Gullatte, 5th grader at Elizabeth Elementary; Taylen McDowell, 5th grader at
Boiling Springs Elementary; Kayla Jenkins, 7th grader at Shelby Middle School
and Jason Wray, 6th grader at Crest Middle School present the plans for the new
Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland County playground. The playground will be named
in honor of Joe and Sophie Goforth, longtime supporters of the club.

Whyneshia Hardin 2013 Youth of the Year

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Whyneshia Hardin, 2013 Youth of the Year
The Youth of the Year Award was presented to a seven year Club member, Whyneshia Hardin. Whyneshia is presently a senior at Burns High School. Her favorite subjects are English, IT Academy and Principles of Business. She attends Hoppers Chapel Church and is involved with Church activities including Girls on a Mission, feeding the homeless and visiting residents of area nursing homes. Last summer Whyneshia volunteered in the Club’s Summer Day Camp Program in the Teen Camper Leadership Program. She is presently a Junior Staff Member at the Club working as a Peer Helper in the Power Hour Homework Help Program. Whyneshia is the daughter of Calvin and Michelle Wilson. The presentation of her award included both a plaque to honor her achievement and a $100 gift certificate from the Boys & Girls Club’s Board of Directors.

Ruth Schweppe Memorial

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Stuart and John Schweppe accpet the Memorial plaque for Ruth Schweppe
A memorial presentation for the family of Ruth Schweppe was announced by Board President Jack Weller. Ruth was a long time active Board member of the Club and served the Club for several decades as a Board Member, an officer and a dedicated good will ambassador. Ruth was a true champion for all kids. Both she and her husband Jack were very instrumental in the early beginnings of the Club’s formation. In 1994 the Board of Directors named the Boys & Girls Club Summer Day Camp Program in memory of Jack Schweppe. At their February 2013 meeting the Board voted unanimously to amend the name to be the Jack & Ruth Schweppe Summer Day Camp. Jack Weller announced that the memorial presentation names the 2012 Honor Day Camper Award the “Ruth Schweppe Award”. John Schweppe Jr. and his wife Stuart accepted the presentation on behalf of the entire Schweppe family.

Ruth Schweppe Honor Day Camper Award

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John Schweppe congratulates Maraja Pass, as the Ruth Schweppe Honor Day Camper
The youth recipient of the “Ruth Schweppe Award” was Maraja Pass. Maraja is a second grader at Jefferson School where her favorite subject is AIG. She has been a Club member for three years and is active in both the Jack & Ruth Schweppe Summer Day Camp and the After-School Program where she has played in the CADETS Basketball Program since becoming a Club member. Maraja is the daughter of Cal and Chris Pass. She attends Durham United Methodist Church where she participates in the Sunday School Program and the Children’s Church. She loves to read, play basketball and most importantly spend time with her family. Maraja received a plaque honoring her achievement and a $50 gift certificate from the Boys & Girls Club’s Board of Directors.

Dr Rich Berkowitz Volunteer of The Year

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Dr Rich Berkowitz was recognized at the Annual Boys & Girls Club Award Banquet as Volunteer of the Year. Dr. Rich has led the Golf Tournament for the past 14 years. In addition he has been an ambassador for the Club in the community.

Susan Allen Recognized as Board Member of the Year

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Susan Allen Congratulated as Board Member of the Year by Dr Faye Burton, Board Vice President.
Susan Allen, a Board member for more than 16 years, was recognized as 2013 Board Member of the Year. Susan has coordinated two successful Murder Mystery fundraisers to support the Rural Experience for Youth scholarships for the summer day camp.

Resolution Adopting the Formula for Impact

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1. Whereas the professional staff, board members, and program volunteers dedicate themselves to the Core Promise that is the foundation of our enduring impact and success. That promise has two parts:
a. Our promise to America’s youth to provide a safe environment and to have a significant impact on their lives.
b. Our promise to the nation is to uphold high ethical standards in all areas, especially in overseeing our finances, collecting membership and participation data, being good stewards of the donor dollar and representing ourselves in public.
2. Whereas as the professional staff, board members, and program volunteers embrace and adopt the Great Futures 2020 Vision stating that we will provide a world-class Club Experience that assures success is within reach of every young person who walks through our doors, with all members on track to graduate from high school with a plan for the future, demonstrating good character and citizenship, and living a healthy lifestyle.
3. Whereas the professional staff, board members, and program volunteers embrace and adopt the Formula for Impact by agreeing to work toward the implementation of a measurement strategy; use measurement data to improve the Club Experience and demonstrate impact; and to share data with Boys & Girls Clubs of America in order to assess the Movement’s collective impact within the next two year

Meet One of Our Teen Campers

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The Boys and Girls Club touches the lives of thousands of youth every year across the nation. As Teen Campers, boys and girls are exposed to a variety of interactive activities that provide them learning and growth opportunities designed to provide the campers with real-world experiences as well as the chance to teach others.

Rakeem Sweezey is making the transition from teen camper to intern for the Boys and Girls Club. As an intern, Rakeem is able help guide and teach younger campers the same life skills that helped to shape Rakeem’s path as a hard working, well-rounded student athlete at Shelby High.

The role of a Boys and Girls Club intern is a busy one for this 15 year old. From 11:00 am until 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday Rakeem is one of 15 interns who act as mentors, role models and instructors’ helpers. They assist with meals and perform other tasks in the summer camp programs. In addition to on the job leadership training, the interns attend a two day camp at “Venture Phoenix” run by Mark Pritchett, Rodney Borders and Dale Collins. After spending the first day building trust between the campers, the second day is spent climbing Crowder’s Mountain. The interns also participate in a three day leadership exercise at Gardner Webb University.

Before Rakeem’s day at the Boys and Girls Club begins, he has already spent three hours in weight training and track at Shelby High with Coach Ware. As a freshman he is training to play right guard on the Junior Varsity football team. This fall he will sing in the High School chorus and concentrate on making good grades.

Rakeem lives with his aunt Teresa Sweezey and his cousins Tiera, Darius and Malika. Malika and Darius also play sports at Shelby High. They attend church at Love, Faith, and Hope with Pastor Brooks. Thanks to Rakeem and the other Teen Campers, Boys and Girls Club continues to play a vital role in the lives of Shelby’s youth.

Article written by Glenda Schenck, Board Member