News Column

Boys & Girls Club celebrates 'Great Futures'

August 1, 2014

By Nicole Cooke, The Sedalia Democrat, Sedalia, Mo.

Aug. 01--Community members, parents, board members and city officials spent part of their afternoon with the Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri at Heber Hunt Elementary as part of the nationwide Great Futures campaign launch, and they got a little surprise performance from the students.

As the school bell rang at exactly 3 p.m., marking the end of the "school day" and signifying that "when schools are out, Clubs are in," the popular lyrics of Pharrell Williams' "Happy" could be heard pumping through the speaker system, and all the students, who had been playing games on the playground, came together for a flash mob. The kids, and B&GC staff, filled the blacktop as they danced and clapped along with the music.

"We spent 20 to 30 minutes practicing it each time. We have it all memorized," said Club member Dylan Meeks, 9. "It's cool because everyone dances together and everyone danced like they were famous. And when we all clap together it sounds good."

The flash mob was part of a celebration of the Great Futures campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the Club's services in each community it serves. As stated in a news release from the Club, according to national statistics, one in three children have no place to go after the 3 p.m. school bell rings and three in five children lack access to summer learning programs. Using the Great Futures campaign, the Club is working to decrease that statistic.

"This is with the 4,000 Clubs across the country and it's an opportunity to let the community know all of our local Clubs are there after school," said Director of Operations Stony Hays. "From 3 to 8 p.m. is the most dangerous for a child -- they're usually home alone. The Club provides structure for educational opportunities and a healthy lifestyle.

"Every kid strives to be bright and the Club is all about giving that kid the opportunity to be that bright star."

The Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri operates 11 sites, including all five Sedalia elementary schools and Sedalia Middle School and sites in Cole Camp, Green Ridge, La Monte, Leeton and Smithton. Each site offers a variety of activities each day after school, and each program focuses on either academic success, healthy living or character development, all disguised as fun activities for kids.

"It's fun," Meeks said. "It's cool to hang out with friends and it's fun to play games and computers."

"They have fun activities for us, like the carnival (today)," said Matti Mergen, 9.

Both Meeks and Mergen have favorite activities from their time in the summer program and during the school year. Meeks said he likes computers and P.E., while Mergen said she likes Basic Sports and computers. They both like getting the opportunity to go swimming once a week with their friends during the summer program.

For more information about the Great Futures campaign, contact Fundraising Coordinator Meghan Beard at 826-8331 or visit Those interested in donating to the Great Futures campaign should be sure to designate Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri as the recipient.


(c)2014 The Sedalia Democrat (Sedalia, Mo.)

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Source: Sedalia Democrat (MO)

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