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Archery Club: Atmore’s New Favorite Past Time

From humble beginnings in 2012, the Archery Club at the Boys & Girls Club of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians has quickly become the pride and joy of Atmore, AL. A small group of ten children has evolved into an extensive program that serves nearly 200 youth per week – all of which is led by instructor Blakelee White Hendrix. When school is not in session, she also instructs a summer program aimed towards kindergarteners and first graders interested in learning the sport of archery.

“It has been a blessing to see so many youth get involved in something and love it,” Hendrix states.

The Archery Club consists of four travel teams, each with a total of 55 members aged 8-18 years old who compete in weekly tournaments from February to August. The ten members that have been involved with the club since its inception now make up the Elite Team. Remarkably, their member Tanner J., won a $20,0000 archery scholarship to Bethel University while attending the BHA State Championship!

The Archery Club is also known for its philanthropic work. The club hosted their second annual “Shoot for a Cure” fundraiser, where $4,560 was raised to benefit St. Jude’s Research Hospital. It goes without saying that the Archery Club has not only inspired youth, but also taught them the value of discipline and teamwork. Hendrix comments, “We look forward to all of the success the four archery teams will achieve, and we look forward to many more scholarships and winnings!”

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Outpour of Support for the Lumbee Tribe

The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina suffered tremendously when Hurricane Matthew destroyed homes and businesses throughout the tribal territory. The storm left the hub of the Lumbee population without electricity and running water for several days. Many families would have been left homeless if not for the ongoing efforts of all Lumbee Tribe Boys & Girls Clubs.

The Pembroke, First Nation and Southern Spirit Boys & Girls Clubs played major roles in serving the Lumbee community during this critical time. The Pembroke Boys & Girls Club served as the Lumbee Tribe Hurricane Response Headquarters and was the only Club, of the three, with electricity due to generators. During the day the Southern Spirit and First Nation Clubs handed out hot meals, nonperishable foods, toiletries, cleaning supplies and clothing to the community. The Tribe received an outpouring of generosity, love and support from individuals, families, business and Tribal nations, both locally and nationally. Rose Lowry-Townsend, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of the Lumbee Tribe in North Carolina, said supplies are still pouring in from Tennessee, Maryland, Atlanta, and individuals sending supplies from Amazon.com. With the support of the American Red Cross, Campbell Soup, Maxton North Carolina, Pepperidge Farm, Downers Grove, Walmart, Prego, and individual volunteers the Pembroke Boys & Girls Club was able to feed 60,000 people in the community with hot meals two times a day.

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On the T.R.A.I.L to Healthier Lifestyles!

It’s an exciting time of year – On the T.R.A.I.L. to Diabetes Prevention program implementation funds were awarded to over 50 Boys & Girls Clubs in Native communities!

T.R.A.I.L. veterans and newcomers alike will soon begin an incredible new year with the program, which aims to reduce the onset of type II diabetes among Native youth through culturally relevant physical, educational, and nutritional activities. Congratulations to all T.R.A.I.L. grant awardees!

To learn more about the On the T.R.A.I.L. to Diabetes Prevention program, click here!

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Wiconí Wasté Summer Internship Program

Wiconí Wasté, or “The Good Life,” is an exciting summer internship program at the Little Earth Extension of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This program, led by Program Director Ashlee Jallen and Program Coordinator Joe Beaulieu, partnered with Hennepin County and the Walker Art Museum to give teens six weeks of paid job experience working Monday-Thursdays. The staff also incorporated Career Launch, a BGCA program, two days out of each week to assist teens with resume building, cover letter writing, and mock interview prep. Once interns completed their resumes, they ventured to the Mall of America to job hunt! Equipped with their new knowledge, they were required to apply to a minimum of three jobs each.

In addition to providing support with resume building and job hunting, the staff took the interns to visit several Minnesota colleges. These included the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Dunwoody Tech, and Fond du Lac Tribal College. Interns were able to speak with Native faculty and learn more about their future educational opportunities. A career panel was also hosted by the Little Earth Extension featuring Native American professionals.

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VISTA Members Organize Summer Events

In July, VISTA members Natalie Gould and Miah Smith worked to organize two annual events at the Boys & Girls Club of Brookings – Moody County: the ATV Raffle fundraiser and the Youth Triathlon. The ATV Raffle is held each summer to raise operating funds for the Club and the Triathlon is held as a fitness competition for youth. Both events are free, fun, and great opportunities for the community to come together.

VISTA members worked to recruit sponsorships for both community events. Local businesses that donated financially or in-kind were included in the event marketing. In-kind gifts allowed the Club to offer a meal at the ATV Raffle fundraiser, as well as early bird prizes and awards for winners at the Triathlon. Dozens of community members were recruited to help with these events. During both events, volunteers helped to sell the 500 raffle tickets and helped things run smoothly.

After six weeks of selling tickets, the ATV Raffle was held outside of the Club. The state National Guard provided a bouncy house for youth, and volunteers helped with games, music, and face paint. The event also included a speaking portion where youth, family members, board members, and staff spoke about the impact of the Club. It was a great success and helped to raise over $10,000 for the Club!

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BGCA Native Services Unit
Dallas Service Center
2107 N. Collins Boulevard
Richardson, TX 75080

Direct: 972-581-2374
E-mail: BGCANS@BGCA.ORG