Local kids and teens across Northeast Florida will benefit year-round from funds raised through the Great Futures Weekend. Proceeds from these events help create opportunities by providing a safe, free place to go after school and during the summer.
Through the events, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida raised more than $400,000 and welcomed more than 1,100 runners and walkers for the 13th Annual McKenzie’s Run on Saturday, Nov. 19, and more than 100 golfers for the 2nd Annual Great Futures Golf Classic on Friday, Nov. 18. Both events were held at THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.
“Our Great Futures Weekend serves as a message of hope for our kids and teens in the community,” said Paul Martinez, president and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida. “When they see how many people come out to support them and their dreams, they are encouraged to reach their full potential through the support and resources we give them every single day at the club.”
The Great Futures Weekend helps Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida continue their 60-year mission to help create great futures for young people like longtime Boys & Girls Club member Darius B. who has attended McKenzie’s Beaches Boys & Girls Club since he was in first grade.
When asked about his club experience, Darius said, “I think the Boys & Girls Club is important for other teens in the community to learn how to be a great person. I really want to see more people join the Boys & Girls Club. I love everything about it, ever since I was a little kid. I love the staff members. I love the friends that I’ve made. I’ve had mentors at the club who have helped me throughout my life. When I talked to the staff members about applying to college, they helped me out and encouraged me to get accepted to some schools.”
Darius is a graduating senior at Fletcher High School who will attend North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in January to study mechanical engineering. He credits his 12-year experience at McKenzie’s Beaches Boys & Girls Club with helping him become the man he is today.
Darius and the 4,800 other kids and teens who attend 48 Boys & Girls Clubs across Northeast Florida depend on support from the community to continue receiving free after-school and summer programs.
Every young person who attends Boys & Girls Clubs enjoys a year of after-school and summer care that includes STEM and art enrichment, daily homework help, healthy meals and snacks, leadership development, a sense of belonging and more.
McKenzie’s Run celebrates the life of McKenzie Noelle Wilson. Through its partnership with The McKenzie Noelle Wilson Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida continues McKenzie’s legacy by providing local young people, ages 6-18, with a safe place to go after school and during the summer at McKenzie’s Beaches Boys & Girls Club and McKenzie’s Camp Deep Pond.
The Great Futures Weekend is made possible through the support of The McKenzie Noelle Wilson Foundation, The Church of Eleven22 and THE PLAYERS.
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