Community impact of Boys and Girls club ahead of annual dinner

Boys and Girls Club of Lubbock
Boys and Girls Club of Lubbock(KCBD)
Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 8:23 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Lubbock Boys and Girls Club is hosting the 26th Annual Outback Steakhouse Dinner next week.

It provides money for the organization that has served thousands of kids for more than seventy years here in Lubbock.

Executive Director Tom Vermillion says the club answers the call to help young people throughout the community.

He says one of the most valuable things it offers is the tools needed to be successful.

“We try to give them, like I was saying, opportunities about really being able to succeed in life,” Vermillion said. “That’s really what boys and girls club is all about.”

The club creates those opportunities for kids ages 6 to 18 through educational and recreational activities.

Those include homework help and daily tutoring along with a reading program called stride.

“That’s been extremely beneficial to them,” Vermillion said. “If you have issues reading that’s something that you need to have addressed. It’s one of those things that if you can’t read very well what kind of job are you going to get?”

Another valuable asset, a safe space for kids.

It helps them avoid bad situations they could encounter otherwise.

“If they’re coming here everyday then they’re not running around in the neighborhoods after school,” Vermillion said. “That gives our staff the opportunity to work with each one of them everyday. It’s more of a higher calling than anything else because you are dealing directly with kids lives.”

Allen Henry, a former Lubbock mayor, is an alum of the Boys and Girls Club.

He says having somewhere to go as a child helped not just him, but his entire family.

“It was so important to my family to know that I could just get on my bike and ride over the boys and girls club and they didn’t have to worry about me,” Henry said. “It really helped my family as a whole not just me.”

During his time with the club Henry met many of the people, and learned life lessons that still affect him today.

“Having the club available and having the friends that I’ve made it has certainly been an integral part of my life,” Henry said. “We learned cooperation we learned respect for each other and we learned team work all those are important lessons, and we didn’t know we were learning lessons but they have been something that has stayed with me all my life.

It was that education that helped lead Henry And many of his clubmates to success later in life.

“Definitely it helped instill some values in all of us,” Henry said. “Some of the folks that I still know one of them is a federal judge we have folks that are successful in business we have folks that we have known over the years and all of us have something in common. That’s the fact that we were at the boys club at the same time.”

Henry says he returned that community service during his time as Lubbock’s mayor.

He says there is an obligation to ensure future generations have a place that puts them on the road to success.

“When you have an asset like the Boys and Girls Club and you learn from it and you gain from it you also have a responsibility to look out after it and to be sure that it continues,” Henry said.

To help ensure this organization continues its service, attend the club’s Annual Outback Steakhouse Dinner on March 8 at 6:30 p.m., at the Civic Center.

It will feature key-note speaker Drew Pearson. A former club member and former Dallas Cowboys receiver.

For information on how you can get a ticket, donate or volunteer click here.

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