Martin County Boys & Girls Clubs board member celebrated at national conference with Lifetime Achievement award
It’s the highest acclaim the Boys & Girls Clubs movement can bestow to celebrate outstanding service from a volunteer leader. Earlier in May at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America national conference in Chicago, this tribute was granted to longtime board member Val McNeely.
McNeely received the James L. Newland Lifetime Achievement Award in Board Leadership for demonstrating “extraordinary service and devotion to the mission of Boys & Girls Clubs, both locally and nationally,” says Keith “Fletch” Fletcher, President, and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County.
Fletcher cited McNeely’s commitment to ensuring the highest possible safety standards for young people attending BGCMC Clubs, as well as establishing a fund to improve Club infrastructure, enhance security measures, and support programs dedicated to the members’ emotional growth and well-being.
“No one person has been there for our organization more frequently than Val McNeely,” says Fletcher. “Whether it was a safety concern or an opportunity for growth, Val wasted no time in finding or creating solutions. Her nimble, innovative style is an excellent example of leadership in action. And she deserves a great deal of credit for forging the foundation of our incoming flagship Club in Stuart and the state-of-the-art workforce collaborations it will offer our members.”
“It's impossible to overstate the value of the positive environments in our Clubs. They exude an intentional balance of safety, security, warmth, and welcoming,” says Kathy Parsons, BGCMC Board Chair. “Which is more important than ever when so many of our Club members live in challenging environments exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic.”
Looking ahead to the opportunity to serve even more children and families in Martin County, BGCMC is planning for a new state-of-the-art Club in the heart of Stuart, on property leased from the Martin County School District. In addition to offering a gym, classrooms, creative space, and all the features associated with a traditional Club environment, the incoming facility will feature workforce laboratories equipped with the technologies and tools needed to prepare members for a variety of trades, vocations, and specialties. Through partnerships with local employers, members will not only gain new skills and in some cases, certifications, but also build relationships essential to employment opportunities in the local workforce.
About the Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County
For more than 30 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County has provided award-winning programs designed to guide and inspire young people ages 6-18 to learn, grow and mature in route to becoming successful adults. Each of the four clubs enjoys strong partnerships with local schools and communities. Such cohesion ensures that Boys & Girls Clubs’ programs complement and enrich the curriculum our members learn in class as well as remain attuned to the challenges and opportunities they face on a day-to-day basis. The clubs offer opportunities for fun, fitness, and S.T.E.A.M. activities, and certified teachers collaborate with club members on everything from tutoring and homework help to specialized courses that prepare them for careers in a variety of trades.