2019 Mid-Year Report

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Hendricks Family<br />

Foundation<br />

~Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County Youth of the <strong>Year</strong> Candidates<br />

The Jeff & Linda<br />

Hendricks Foundation<br />

is proud to support the<br />

Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County<br />


Dear Friends,<br />

The first half of the year has been an exciting one, for many reasons. As<br />

a resident of Burlington, and a Board member who has looked forward to<br />

this, the return of our Clubs to the community year-round is monumental.<br />

Because of a strong partnership built over many years, the Burlington-Edison<br />

School District and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County are now<br />

operating a 21st Century Community Learning Center together at Lucille<br />

Umbarger School. Each provides respective expertise to enhance the program<br />

to benefit those youth who need us most.<br />

As my term of President of the Board of Directors winds down, I reflect<br />

on all that has been accomplished with your support. Not only recently,<br />

during my time in a leadership position, but historically. We could not be<br />

as responsive to community need without you. Our Board members take<br />

their representative charge seriously, and to honor what you empower us<br />

to do, we have built additional capacity in our Board through the adoption<br />

of best practices, ensuring organizational transparency, and creating a<br />

succession plan for sustainability.<br />

Tina Asp, owner of Image360 in Burlington, will be our next President of the<br />

Board, effective in January, and has been working toward that transition<br />

with intentionality. We are also fortunate that Rob Martin, Retired Founding<br />

CEO of Chinook Enterprises will follow Tina in 2022-23. We have worked<br />

hard to align our work with the Strategic Plan that was a product of your<br />

feedback and reflections, and this is demonstrated by the succession work<br />

through ‘Strengthen the Organization’. When Leadership is identified and<br />

prepared, it is known to positively impact the mission.<br />

Thank you for being on this journey with us, as we work to provide Great<br />

Futures for kids and teens in our communities, especially those who need<br />

us most, so they may reach their full potential as productive, caring,<br />

responsible citizens.<br />

Respectfully yours,<br />

Holly Shannon<br />

<strong>2019</strong> Board Chair<br />

Carson Law Group<br />

BOARD OF<br />


President<br />


Carson Law Group<br />

President-Elect<br />

TINA ASP<br />

Image360<br />

Vice President - Historical<br />


Farmers Insurance - Mike Gubrud Agency<br />

Vice President - Succession<br />


Retired - Chinook Enterprises<br />

Past-President-Emeritus<br />


Booth Insurance/Allstate Insurance Co.<br />

Treasurer<br />


Stiles Law<br />

Secretary<br />


Retired - Library Services / Government<br />

Past-President<br />


Simply Yards Landscaping<br />

Members<br />


MVSD Superintendent<br />


Barrett Financial, LTD<br />


Marathon<br />


Retired, Education<br />


Shell Puget Sound Refinery<br />


Hotel Services Group, LLC<br />


Janicki Industries<br />


Skagit Valley College<br />


Savi Bank<br />


Fisher Construction Group<br />


Pacific Woodtech<br />


Dyberg Aviation<br />


What does it take to make an impact,<br />

or make a difference? It takes people. It<br />

takes people willing to take time, to get<br />

involved, and to offer a path forward.<br />

This is what volunteers do.<br />

At the Club, our volunteers create<br />

moments for our kids. They help create<br />

the opportunities, whatever it takes,<br />

to ensure that kid is engaged, gets to<br />

be involved in an exciting program—<br />

whether that is knitting, photography,<br />

woodworking, or computer design—<br />

that a kid sees a great future.<br />

Volunteers are GREAT!<br />

4<br />

The printing & mailing of<br />

this report was donated<br />

by K&H Integrated Print<br />

Solutions.<br />




Eli Suffridge<br />

Cabry Biddle<br />

Andrea Martin<br />

Teresa Cardenas<br />

Sophia Pereira<br />

Bonnie Schuh<br />

Karin Wigen<br />

Tamera Brockman<br />

Ashley de Condo<br />

Andrew Rathvon<br />

Keiko McCracken<br />

Jose Ruiz<br />

Stephanie Hooper<br />

Josh Arquitt<br />

Girls Scouts of Western Washington<br />

Callie Shoemaker<br />

Brian Soneda<br />

Alix Baker<br />

Tamara Straub<br />

BEHS Wrestlers<br />

Lucy DeGrace<br />

Dear friends,<br />

In an organization centered on providing Opportunity to the thousands of kids<br />

and teens we serve each year, it can sometimes take a while to see the seeds<br />

planted bear fruit. Opportunity means different things to our various members.<br />

For some, it is as simple as having dinner provided nightly, giving them the<br />

opportunity to eat a healthy, nutritious meal without being concerned about<br />

where it will come from. For others, it is interacting with you, our stakeholders,<br />

in various ways throughout the year—tours at local businesses, games at<br />

events, receiving feedback as they work on their speech and interview skills in<br />

preparation for Youth of the <strong>Year</strong>, and more.<br />

For one, Opportunity was inspiration. Two summers ago, 45 teens and staff<br />

departed early one Monday morning in August. By the time they returned late<br />

Friday evening, they had visited seven College campuses, including technical<br />

schools, Division I Universities, and regional institutions for higher learning of<br />

various sizes in Washington, Idaho, and Montana. The whirlwind five days also<br />

included a brief stop in Wyoming to see Ol’ Faithful in Yellowstone Park.<br />

I remember when Jazzelle Elias, our 2015 Youth of the <strong>Year</strong>, came back with<br />

her group to our rallying point while visiting a school in Montana. She declared<br />

she would attend school there. While that was certainly the point of the tour,<br />

it was also surprising. We pointed out the weather and cultural differences,<br />

but her mind was set. Recently, the Teen Director of our Sedro-Woolley Club at<br />

which Jazzelle is a member, had the privilege of presenting Jazzelle with her<br />

Youth of the <strong>Year</strong> Scholarship of $1,500 at her school’s scholarship night. The<br />

check will go to the University of Montana.<br />

Because of you, a young woman got her start with a short remark at the 2015<br />

Gala. She would go on to win Youth of the <strong>Year</strong>, credit the program with making<br />

her wholly prepared to enter the workforce and get her first job as soon as she<br />

wanted it, and now, is confident enough to leave her strong safety net and venture<br />

to Montana to pursue her dreams. Because of you, we do whatever it takes<br />

to provide each Club member a pathway to their own #GreatFuture.<br />

Thank you,<br />

Ron McHenry<br />

CEO/Executive Director





THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS ...4-5, 7<br />






STRATEGIC PLAN ...12-13<br />

GREAT FUTURES GALA: <strong>2019</strong> ...14<br />

S.T.E.M. TOURS OPEN DOORS ...16-17<br />

CONGRATS GRADUATES! ...18-19<br />

MY CLUB HUB ...20-21<br />



HOPE FOR A GREAT FUTURE ...28-31<br />



About the Cover: Art by Manuel C., age 11, Mount Baker Club. We asked Club youth, “What does<br />

OPPORTUNITY mean to you?” “It means a chance to do something,” answered a Mount Vernon<br />

Club Member.<br />

Additional photography by Sarah Arquitt.<br />

Alice Bohnker<br />

David Storey<br />

Eagle Scout Troop 4081<br />

Wanda Rowland<br />

Cookson Beecher<br />

Becky Taft<br />

Steve Sexton<br />

Justin Clingenpeel<br />

Kate Clark<br />

Trey Hatch<br />

Anacortes Police Dept.<br />

Rhonda Tingley<br />

Janine Arp<br />

Victoria Arquitt<br />

Danita Gilbert<br />

Dan Berard<br />

Wayne Barrett<br />

John Guinn<br />

Stacy Moody<br />

Angela Terek<br />

Hugh Dougher<br />

Shell Puget Sound Refinery<br />

Katie Hayton<br />

Lauren Kinderknecht<br />

Kara Symonds<br />

Marta Margutti<br />

Kevin Yarrow<br />

Joscelynn Evans<br />

Nichole Johnston<br />

Liz Smith<br />

Chandler Gange<br />

Mark Lione<br />

Kurt Swanson<br />

Natalie Johnson<br />

Kris Tully<br />

Mike Dyberg<br />

Beth Easterday<br />

Stephanie Morgareidge<br />

Kristia Poppe<br />

Dani Russell<br />

Kohl’s Staff<br />

Sedro-Woolley Police Dept.<br />

Paul Godfrey<br />

Skagit Bank Staff<br />

Sarah Morr<br />

Katherine Olson<br />

Stephanie Thomas<br />

Mary Staley<br />

Mayor Julia Johnson<br />

Emerson Nordmark<br />

Danielle Vincent<br />

Jillian Ross<br />

Dustin South<br />

Samuel Hardesty<br />

Crystal Eddy<br />

Ross Stores Staff<br />

Mark Hagen<br />

Jason Miller<br />

NPSAR<br />

Kristin Schmidt<br />

Jim Lepore<br />

Stephanie Hamilton<br />

Sara Ress<br />

Carrie Cammock<br />

Burlington Police Dept.<br />

Leadership Skagit<br />

Barb Ringhouse<br />

Alyssa Stewart<br />

Bobby Castro<br />

Laura Hendersen<br />

Esteban Barron<br />

continued on page... 6<br />



Leadership development is a key component<br />

to any organization’s sustainable success.<br />

In January 2018, we launched the Emerging<br />

Leaders Program (ELP) to begin the groundwork<br />

of shifting the culture of our workforce to one<br />

that models the idea that “Great Leadership Creates<br />

Great Workplaces Creates Great Club Experiences”.<br />

Starting with ELP, we identify cohorts of staff who participate<br />

in a year-long experience that is a combination<br />

of learning, and on-the-job practicing of the Five<br />

Practices of Exemplary Leadership from The Leadership<br />

Challenge (Kouzes<br />

and Posner). Understanding<br />

that leadership<br />

is everyone’s business,<br />

this year the Mission Support<br />

Leadership team, in<br />

addition to a new cohort<br />

of program staff, completed<br />

the Leadership<br />

Challenge. This helps us<br />

further ensure that leadership<br />

isn’t something we just teach, but something<br />

we live and breathe as an organization.<br />

Our onboarding process includes learning<br />

of our employee’s career goals, so that we<br />

may present learning opportunities and<br />

experiences for staff that would help prepare<br />

them for the next step in their career.<br />

Stretch Assignments: Staff are encouraged to<br />

step outside of their comfort zone. Each site hosts<br />

local Club events, and receives coaching and support<br />

from Mission Support. This requires staff to step<br />

outside of their normal programming role, and for a<br />

brief period of time, provides them with experience<br />

in event planning and coordination. Just one example<br />

of how we encourage staff to push beyond the<br />

limits they have set for themselves.<br />

Mentoring: All ELP graduates have a big role upon<br />

their completion of the program, and that is to serve<br />

as mentors to future<br />

ELP participants. Even<br />

beyond that, they take<br />

on the duty and understanding<br />

that they are<br />

effectively mentors and<br />

role models for all staff<br />

and members. They participate<br />

and give feedback<br />

as guests at ELP<br />

meetings, and provide<br />

guidance to participants when they are given specific<br />

organizational tasks.<br />

According to the Wall Street Journal, some of the<br />

key elements to leadership development are job<br />

rotation, stretch assignments, mentoring and veteran<br />

advice. Here is some of what we do:<br />

Job Rotation: We provide opportunities for Club<br />

staff to assist, collaborate and work with different<br />

Clubs and departments within the organization.<br />

Our onboarding process includes learning of our<br />

employee’s career goals, so that we may present<br />

learning opportunities and experiences for staff that<br />

would help prepare them for the next step in their<br />

career. Club staff are also offered opportunities to<br />

assist in other areas, such as resource development<br />

and operations, as a way to introduce them to different<br />

roles within the organization.<br />

Veteran Advice: In addition to the mentoring,<br />

graduates of ELP are provided mentors from the<br />

organization’s Board of Directors. Board members<br />

are diverse in their skill sets and accomplishments,<br />

from educators to business CEOs, and everything<br />

in-between. Their years of experience in their<br />

respective fields has proven to be invaluable as<br />

they work with our young staff who are navigating<br />

through the early years of their life.<br />

Investing in leadership is a necessity as we are<br />

shaping the leaders of tomorrow. We want our Club<br />

members to thrive and have great futures as leaders.<br />

One of the best ways to instill that in them is to<br />

do so through our staff. This is how we become an<br />

organization of excellence.<br />


Volunteers continued...<br />

Christine Johnson<br />

Kirk Hamilton<br />

Beth Bishop<br />

Katelynn Long<br />

Brenda Harter<br />

Dave Courtney<br />

Mariah Garofalo<br />

Ross Roberts<br />

Jack McKee<br />

Miranda Morris<br />

Kelly Reep<br />

Walmart Staff<br />

Dean Harrington<br />

Madeline Handzsilk<br />

Foresters of Skagit County<br />

Naomi Tataran<br />

Steve Hoglund<br />

Mount Vernon Police Dept.<br />

Silvia Reed<br />

Melissa Dougher<br />

Laura Riquelme<br />

GAP Stores Staff<br />

Leanne Wiseman<br />

Old Navy Staff<br />

Nike Outlet Volunteers<br />

SaviBank Staff<br />

Rozwin Liera<br />

Tim Schmidt<br />

Debby & Charley Short<br />

Raushel Shepherd<br />

Patricia Dunn<br />

Josh Anderson<br />

Ericka Catubo<br />

Korey Hansen<br />

Lisa Janicki<br />

Erma Baude<br />

Kevin Jones<br />

David Bishop<br />

Alexander Cardenas<br />

Kay Davis<br />

George Santino<br />

Keith Magee<br />

Jerry Timblin<br />

Annette Booth<br />

Planet Fitness Staff<br />

Lori Timblin<br />

Rob Martin<br />

Christian Case<br />

Meredith Baker<br />

Nels Strandberg<br />

Holly Shannon<br />

Alisha Sylvester<br />

Edgar Serrano<br />

Pam Davis<br />

Helena Schlegel<br />

Anacortes Fire Dept.<br />

Carole Straathof<br />

Debbie Pedersen<br />

Tom & Pam Allen<br />

Robyn Tokunaga<br />

Sedro-Woolley Fire Dept.<br />

Brian Poppe<br />

Mount Vernon Fire Dept.<br />

Burlington Fire Dept.<br />

Marine Corp League<br />

Skagit Valley Det. 1043<br />

Justin Winslow<br />

Nancy Gentry<br />

Tasha Tucker<br />

Peter Cisneros<br />

Barb Thompson<br />


8<br />

Mount Vernon Keystone Club members help out at the Kiwanis Salmon BBQ (top and bottom right). Skagit County Superior Court Judge Laura<br />

Riquelme with Teen members of the Sedro-Woolley Club for Career Launch (bottom left). Holly Shannon, of Carson Law Group and BGCS Board<br />

President, shares for Career Launch at the Sedro-Woolley Teen Center (middle right).




Boys & Girls Clubs are at the core of doing whatever<br />

it takes to provide our youth with opportunity.<br />

The Club is much more than just a<br />

place for youth to go to after school. Through<br />

our Clubs’ Mission and Formula for Impact, we are<br />

reaching the young people that need us most, providing<br />

them with an outcome-driven Club experience<br />

through regular attendance, high-yield activities, targeted<br />

programs, and our five key elements: safety,<br />

fun, supportive relationships, opportunity, & recognition.<br />

This allows youth ultimately to reach our priority<br />

outcomes of Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyles,<br />

and Good Character & Citizenship. When it comes to<br />

career-readiness and helping youth to not only dream<br />

big, but to realize their dreams of a great future, it<br />

takes all of these components to reach success.<br />

The training showed. “When I arrived at the<br />

Club, I was greeted immediately by a friendly<br />

Club member who offered his hand, smiled<br />

and looked me in the eye, ‘Hi, I’m Devin,<br />

welcome to the Club.’”<br />


The Teen Career Prep program offers a stepping stone<br />

for youth to begin in the workforce. A common conundrum,<br />

one needs experience to get a job, but one<br />

needs a job to get experience. Patrick Dougher, Teen<br />

Coordinator at the Sedro-Woolley Club expects Club<br />

members to treat the experience like a real job. Patrick<br />

preps them for success with fun games like “Mad Lib<br />

Resumes,” and a “How to Properly Offer a Hand-Shake”<br />

session. The training showed. “When I arrived at the<br />

Club, I was greeted immediately by a friendly Club<br />

member who offered his hand, smiled and looked me<br />

in the eye, ‘Hi, I’m Devin, welcome to the Club,’” said<br />

Tammy Findlay, Director of Marketing and Stewardship,<br />

on a recent visit to the Teen Center.<br />

An application must be filled out before the deadline,<br />

and each selected applicant is interviewed for the position.<br />

Patrick recently had 8 teens apply for this summer.<br />

Each volunteer job shadows a Club staff member and<br />

will help with meal preparation, STEM programs, outside<br />

games, and field trips. It’s a great opportunity for<br />

the teen volunteers because they get to attend during<br />

the summer, and gain experience that will help their<br />

resume and college applications.<br />



Our Club youth love to take charge. Part of the appeal<br />

of Clubs is that youth get to decide what they’d like to<br />

do. When they come to the Club, there are a variety<br />

of activities to choose from. Additionally, Clubs provide<br />

them with an opportunity to have a voice and lead.<br />

Keystone Club is designed to provide leadership development<br />

opportunities for our teen members. Youth<br />

participate in activities in three focus areas: academic<br />

success, career preparation, and community service.<br />

They elect their own officers and come up with goals to<br />

better their community. With the guidance of an adult<br />

advisor, Keystone Clubs aim to have a positive impact<br />

on members, the Club, and community.<br />

The Mount Vernon Keystone Club members completed<br />

a toy drive last December to benefit the Skagit Valley<br />

Herald Christmas Fund. They are currently voting on<br />

their next fundraising benefit. One of the ways they<br />

raise their own funds is through their Snack Shack,<br />

where they bake goods, using the Club’s kitchen, to<br />

then sell to the community. Sedro-Woolley Keystone<br />

members were already discussing plans for fall fund-<br />

continued on page... 11<br />


10<br />

Sedro-Woolley Teen Director Patrick Dougher, discusses upcoming plans with the Keystone Club (top). Mount Vernon Keystone members celebrate together<br />

with an ice skating trip (middle left). A Mount Vernon Keystone member creates baked goods to raise money for their upcoming community service<br />

projects (middle right). Mount Baker Club members pose with Tina Asp, owner of Image360 & BGCS Board Vice President, during Career Launch (bottom).

aising with a supplies drive for the Oasis Teen Center.<br />

“I’m pretty sure chocolate is nonperishable!” exclaimed<br />

a member. These members also made big plans for<br />

their summer Family Nights where they talked about<br />

a scavenger hunt, water balloon toss, and great food,<br />

like grilled cheese and pancakes. They also discussed<br />

helping out at the Annual Eagles Car Show and 4th of<br />

July BBQ Fundraisers which directly benefit the Clubs’<br />

Teen Center.<br />

Keystone members can attend the Washington State<br />

Keystone Summit in the fall where members from all<br />

Washington Clubs will gather to socialize with peers,<br />

explore relevant issues, and develop skills to support<br />

and enhance efforts in their local Boys & Girls Clubs<br />

and communities.<br />

“Having grown up in Sedro-Woolley it is<br />

important to me to share my career journey<br />

to becoming a lawyer with our Club members.<br />

I am passionate about my career and in<br />

sharing I hope to inspire our Club members<br />

to follow their dreams on whatever that path<br />

looks like for them...”<br />


Inviting career professionals to the Club to share<br />

their experience is a very effective way to help youth<br />

visualize their future. Professionals in the field can<br />

introduce youth to career avenues they might not<br />

otherwise have considered. Through their candor<br />

and honesty, these mentors can help youth prepare<br />

for the real life challenges they might face<br />

on their career journey. In the last six months, Club<br />

members were visited by a myriad of professionals<br />

in many exciting fields; a refinery operator, a nurse,<br />

a lawyer, an entrepreneur, a judge, an author, an<br />

outreach coordinator, a substation wire-man, and a<br />

park ranger!<br />

Retired Park Ranger, Hugh Dougher who is still<br />

active in Search & Rescue, both as a volunteer and<br />

as an educator, visited the Sedro-Woolley Teens<br />

and brought along some of the equipment used in<br />

search and rescue: an ice axe (dulled for safety),<br />

crampons and carabiners for climbing, helmet and<br />

harness, radio for communication—and his favorite<br />

toy, a drone used for aerial searching. With teens<br />

currently learning to pilot drones through our STEM<br />

programming, it was helpful for them to tie their<br />

knowledge of drones to a real world application.<br />

Holly Shannon, current Clubs’ Board President &<br />

Lawyer with Carson Law Group is a frequent Career<br />

Launch guest at many of our Clubs. “Having grown<br />

up in Sedro-Woolley it is important to me to share my<br />

career journey to becoming a lawyer with our Club<br />

members. I am passionate about my career and in<br />

sharing, I hope to inspire our Club members to follow<br />

their dreams on whatever that path looks like for<br />

them. The best part about Career Launch, for me, is<br />

answering the insightful and imaginative questions<br />

not only about my job but about how I got here and<br />

why I do what I do. At the same time I get to share<br />

with our Club members my passion for volunteering<br />

and why I serve on the Board of Directors.”<br />

As part of the Career Launch program, Club members<br />

at Mount Baker Boys & Girls Club have been<br />

participating in a new curriculum focusing on youth<br />

exploring aspects of becoming an entrepreneur.<br />

They were visited by one of Skagit Valley’s very own<br />

entrepreneurs, Tina Asp. Tina together with her husband,<br />

Anthony, founded Image360, a full service<br />

graphics and signage firm in Burlington, WA. Tina<br />

Asp also serves on the Club’s Board of Directors.<br />

Tina shared about her journey of founding her own<br />

business, her favorite things about being an entrepreneur,<br />

and some of the technical aspects of making<br />

a business successful. Afterwards, youth had the<br />

opportunity to ask questions and share reflections.<br />

These programs, among others, are designed to<br />

introduce our youth to a wealth of opportunities,<br />

ideally putting them in a position to match their natural<br />

talents and passions to an educational and/or<br />

career path that will best serve them and their community.<br />

With the right balance of fun, challenges,<br />

and responsibility, along with trust, guidance, and<br />

mentorship, these experiences can open the eyes<br />

of our youth and generate excitement about their<br />

future possibilities.<br />



Adopted in 2018, “Opportunity 2021” provides a framework of focus for aligning priorities with<br />

specific objectives. The development of this strategic plan included many stakeholder groups<br />

and input from the Board and staff. Once the primary goals and objectives were drafted, staff<br />

worked to develop indicators which could be tracked directly related to “Opportunity 2021”.<br />

With the first year of work completed, progress or challenges can easily be identified.<br />

Priority 1: Reach More Youth<br />

With the opening of the Concrete Boys & Girls Club sites at the end of 2018, which was not<br />

originally anticipated, the total goal for 2020 was reached at 18,000 sq ft of dedicated space<br />

for Club Use. This metric and goal will likely be updated at the December Board Retreat, to<br />

ensure stretch goals remain so more youth are reached. The initiative that resulted in the<br />

Concrete Club starting also realized early goals set for the end of <strong>2019</strong> in the numbers of new<br />

youth served. More recently, a new Club program in Burlington will further advance this number,<br />

so a similar review will occur.<br />

Priority 2: Increase Program Quality<br />

Big wins in this priority area include reaching all 2018 metrics set forth and in many cases<br />

beating them. The organization is on pace to provide at least 3 Assessments per Site this<br />

year, which positively impacts our commitment to a Continuous Program Quality Improvement<br />

Cycle. This year, there is a big increase needed to reach goals set forth for staff training in<br />

Basics and Methods, but leadership is confident these goals will be met.<br />

Priority 3: Strengthen the Organization<br />

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County takes pride in continuing to prioritize professional<br />

development for staff and volunteers. This is important to ensure adaptability to the changing<br />

needs of kids and teens served, but also to ensure the organization is being as efficient<br />

as possible and providing appropriate stewardship of community resources. The desire to<br />

increase external training opportunities to middle managers and front-line staff is both to<br />

improve program quality, but also strengthen the organization. When people feel invested in,<br />

they are more likely to stay longer—of significant importance from the hard cost point of view<br />

of turnover, but also the cost of a relationship of a supportive adult in the life of a Club member.<br />

Focusing on increasing the number of people who come through our doors and participate in<br />

Club Tours provides our youth with opportunities to engage with the public, gain confidence,<br />

and develop speaking skills, but also to inform stakeholders as to the incredibly complex<br />

strategies being implemented each day to further the positive outcomes of Club members.<br />

Through increased participation and advocacy, more people are likely to become aware of<br />

how resources can change lives, and share their stories which will ultimately benefit those<br />

served. While the 2018 goal was reached, this is an area that needs significant work to reach<br />

ambitious goals set for <strong>2019</strong> and beyond.<br />


2018 Goal Progress to-date 2021 Goal<br />

20%<br />

26%<br />


Opportunity 2021<br />

Reach More Youth<br />

14,430 18,000 21,500<br />

Increase Sq. Ft of Dedicated Club Space<br />

Increase Program Quality<br />

45.4% 100%<br />

% of Program Staff Trained in Basics<br />

10% 22.7% 35%<br />

% of Program Staff Trained in Methods<br />

1 1 2<br />

Number of Assessments Conducted per Site<br />

Strengthen the Organization<br />

34% 50%<br />

% of non-Admin Staff attending Training outside of Skagit County (1+ Yr Emp.)<br />

30 42 500<br />

# of Club Tours for first-time attendees<br />


GREAT FUTURES GALA: <strong>2019</strong><br />

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County is<br />

incredibly grateful for the generosity of<br />

our community and stakeholders. Without<br />

your support, Clubs couldn’t take some<br />

chances to grow the organization. One calculated<br />

risk was when the Board of Directors spent<br />

nearly a year determining the future of the major<br />

fundraising event held each Fall.<br />

Traditionally a Dinner and Auction, the event was<br />

in need of a refresh, and as the organization has<br />

demonstrated in other areas, something unique<br />

that would provide a wonderful guest experience.<br />

A Legacy Gift from the Estate of Jack Gubrud,<br />

a founding Board member and long-time supporter<br />

and advocate for the Clubs, provided a<br />

safety net to try something new. With the Gubrud<br />

family affirming the decision as a wonderful way<br />

to honor the memory of Jack, the plan was put<br />

into action.<br />

Each year since, staff and Board members, and<br />

the very dedicated Great Futures Gala Committee<br />

has set out to provide an event that is centered<br />

on the mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs<br />

—to enable all young people, especially those<br />

who need us most, to reach their full potential as<br />

productive, caring, responsible citizens. Interacting<br />

with our kids and teens while participating in<br />

various games during the Social Hour has been<br />

a favored highlight, as well as the jovial, philanthropic<br />

atmosphere. As the event expanded,<br />

a new venue was sought out, and Skagit Clubs<br />

were honored to be invited into Corporate Air<br />

Center by Tim Lewis and his team. The results<br />

and outcomes are tremendous, and plans are<br />

underway to level up again this year.<br />

Currently, Club Staff are finalizing details to welcome<br />

Spud Webb, the legendary pro basketball<br />

player known as the shortest in history to win a<br />

Slam Dunk Contest. At 5’7” one might consider<br />

him diminutive, but his character and dedication<br />

to advocating for other Club kids are unmatched.<br />

For him, it’s personal, having grown up in poverty<br />

in Dallas, TX, and attending the Boys Club. Look<br />

to the Skagit Clubs Facebook page for updates<br />

and confirmation of the celebrity speaker, as well<br />

as other information for the <strong>2019</strong> Great Futures<br />

Gala. Last year was a sell-out, so you won’t want<br />

to miss this special opportunity which could feature<br />

a few surprises as well.<br />





<strong>2019</strong> YOUTH OF THE YEAR:<br />

Dinner with Friends Keystone Sponsor<br />

Hendricks Family Foundation<br />

Leadership Sponsors<br />

Draper Valley Farms<br />

Pestarino Family<br />

Skagit Valley College<br />

Program Sponsors<br />

Trident Seafoods<br />

Eaglemont Golf Course<br />

Cascade DAFO Prosthetics & Orthotics<br />

<strong>2019</strong> SEDRO-WOOLLEY<br />


Royal Title Sponsor<br />

Dwayne Lane’s North Cascade Ford<br />

Join the Heritage Club<br />

The Heritage Club is an association of friends of Boys<br />

& Girls Clubs from all across the country. Like you,<br />

these people seek to ensure that the future needs of<br />

our nation’s youth are met by including their local<br />

Boys & Girls Clubs in their estate plans. This planning<br />

might include a will, charitable gift annuity, a trust<br />

arrangement, a real estate gift, or a life insurance policy.<br />

Your support through a planned gift will ensure<br />

that future generations of our children will have<br />

the opportunity to live successful lives in a safe,<br />

positive and caring environment.<br />

Joining The Heritage Club is easy! Simply<br />

communicate your intentions by printing, signing<br />

and returning the enrollment form available at<br />

www.clubgift.org<br />

or contact Ian Faley at<br />

ifaley@skagitclubs.org or 360-419-3723 x7.<br />

<strong>2019</strong> ANNUAL BREAKFAST:<br />

Title Sponsor<br />

Trico Companies, LLC<br />

Keystone Sponsor<br />

K&H Integrated Print Solutions<br />

Torch Sponsor<br />

Skagit Transportation<br />

Logistics Sponsor<br />

Bayside Specialties<br />

<strong>2019</strong> ANACORTES BREAKFAST:<br />

Title Sponsor<br />

Kiwanis Sunrisers Anacortes<br />

Torch Sponsors<br />

Soroptimist International of Anacortes<br />

Anacortes Noon Kiwanis Club<br />

RIS Insurance Services<br />

Cap Sante Inn<br />

Anacortes Rotary Club<br />

Strandberg Construction<br />

<strong>2019</strong> KEYS FOR KIDS:<br />

Grand Piano Title Sponsor<br />

Marathon Petroleum Corporation<br />

Baby Grand Sponsor<br />

Dwayne Lane’s Skagit Subaru<br />

Full Staff Sponsors<br />

The Drain Doctor<br />

Stepping Stones Garden<br />

Key Sponsors<br />

Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro<br />

La Conner Seafood & Prime Rib House<br />

Major Chord Sponsors<br />

Carson Law Group<br />

Express Employment Professionals<br />

Candlewood Suites<br />


Title Sponsor<br />

Blade Chevrolet<br />

Dinner Sponsor<br />

Chad Fisher Construction<br />

Lunch Sponsor<br />

Judd & Black Appliance<br />

continued on page... 17<br />


S.T.E.M. TOURS<br />


Tom Thomson, CEO of VT Volant, shows a group of teens that dreams of<br />

pursuing a career in aviation could be a reality.<br />

For the 2018-<strong>2019</strong> school year, members<br />

from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit<br />

County have been learning about careers<br />

in aviation.<br />

Through the course<br />

of the year, members<br />

have visited the Burlington<br />

airport, learned<br />

about historic planes,<br />

toured Everett Community<br />

College, and have<br />

performed experiments<br />

that helped them learn about flight. Recently,<br />

members from the Mount Baker and Sedro-Woolley<br />

Clubs visited VT Volant Aerospace.<br />

As soon as Shaun heard the word<br />

“aerospace” mentioned while the<br />

field trip was being introduced, he<br />

perked up and took a permission slip.<br />

VT Volant Aerospace creates custom airplane<br />

interiors. They service planes for both major<br />

commercial airlines and for smaller private companies.<br />

During the tour, Tom Thompson, CEO of<br />

VT Volant, escorted the teens through the manufacturing<br />

floor. The youth saw overhead compartments,<br />

lavatories,<br />

seats, and the wide<br />

array of tools that VT<br />

Volant uses to create<br />

custom constructions,<br />

including a massive<br />

machine used to cut<br />

composite board. In<br />

addition to the tour,<br />

Tom Thompson arranged for multiple employees<br />

to describe their jobs to the teens and also<br />

encouraged one of his employees to show the<br />

kids a state of the art 3D scanner.<br />

Shaun, a 8th grade student at Mount Baker <strong>Mid</strong>dle<br />

School, was recently recognized for his proficiency in<br />


STEM by his school. In the Clubs, he greatly enjoys any opportunities<br />

to build with Lego Robotics or fly drones. He loves everything about<br />

planes, and one day he hopes to become an aerospace engineer.<br />

He often creates plane models out of the materials available to him<br />

like Legos or paper and talks about pitch, roll, and yaw—the possible<br />

directions an airplane can move—with his peers.<br />

As soon as Shaun heard the word “aerospace” mentioned while the<br />

field trip was being introduced, he perked up and took a permission<br />

slip. Shaun was absent on the day the permission slip was due for the<br />

VT Volant trip. However, he made sure to send his permission slip to<br />

the Club with a friend.<br />

During the trip, Thompson asked the teens, “What do engineers<br />

do?” Shaun answered immediately, “They design and build things.”<br />

Throughout the field trip, Shaun listened carefully to each guest and<br />

saw several aspects of engineering and airplane manufacturing<br />

which were new to him.<br />

Field trips are an amazing opportunity to connect youth with local<br />

businesses. Workforce development is a primary goal of the Boys &<br />

Girls Clubs of Skagit County, and an increased number of field trips<br />

is part of the Clubs’ strategic plan for growth. Through field trips,<br />

youth are inspired by seeing potential careers in their community. For<br />

Shaun, the trip to VT Volant Aerospace is an opportunity unique to the<br />

Clubs for him to better plan his future.<br />

Sponsors continued...<br />

Driving Range Sponsor<br />

Swinomish Casino & Lodge<br />

Contest Sponsors<br />

Mike Gubrud – Farmers Insurance<br />

Lakeside Industries<br />

Heritage Bank<br />

Skagit Transportation<br />

Janicki Industries<br />

Beverage Cart Sponsors<br />

The Plumbing Guys<br />

Corion Landscape Management<br />

Snack Cart Sponsors<br />

Barrett Financial Community Caring Project<br />

SaviBank<br />

Hole Sponsors<br />

Pacific WoodTech<br />

Land Title & Escrow<br />

IBEW Local 191<br />

Tee & Green Sponsors<br />

The Drain Doctor<br />

Scholten’s Equipment<br />

Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro<br />

Rallye Auto Sales<br />

Skagit County Public School Superintendents<br />

WAFD Insurance Group<br />

Car Care Clinic Gateway Transmissions, Inc<br />

Central Moving & Storage<br />

Louis Auto Glass<br />

Blue Lake Property Management<br />

Banner Bank<br />

Bob’s Burgers & Brew<br />

ServiceMaster Cleaning by Roth<br />

Mexico Cafe<br />

Skagit Valley Marine Corps League<br />

Smiley Insurance Services Corporation<br />

Farmstrong Brewing<br />

State Farm—Brad Methner, Carol Lawson,<br />

Keith Sorestad<br />


Title Sponsor<br />

Dreamchasers RV<br />

Premier Sponsor<br />

Marathon Petroleum Corporation<br />

VIP Sponsor<br />

Corporate Air Center<br />

Gold Sponsors<br />

Jack Gubrud Memorial Fund<br />

Mike & Dianne Crawford<br />

CPI Plumbing & Heating<br />

Silver Sponsors<br />

Image360<br />

Louis Auto Glass<br />

K&H Integrated Printing<br />

Strandberg Construction<br />

DeWaard & Bode<br />

Bronze Sponsors<br />

Shell Puget Sound Refinery<br />

Samish Indian Nation<br />

Judd & Black Appliance<br />

Birch Equipment Rental & Sales<br />

Fisher Construction Group<br />

Skagit Regional Health<br />

Columbia Distributing<br />

Pacific Woodtech<br />

Barrett Financial Community Caring Project<br />

Skagit Bank<br />

La Conner Seafood & Prime Rib<br />

Carl’s Towing<br />


18<br />


We had several Club members and past Club members graduate this year and were able to capture some in<br />

the moment of their post-graduation jubilation.

Opposite page, top left to right: Nickalaus S. with Kody P., Connor D. donning his sister Katie D.’s graduation cap,<br />

Shaely S.. Bottom left to right: Club Staff Keith Klingensmith, Ashleigh C., Patrick S.<br />

This page, top left to right: Kindred G., Carman C., Kavin P.<br />

Bottom left to right: Logan L., Adriana T., Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County’s Youth of the <strong>Year</strong> Kyla W..<br />


MyClubHub<br />

Boys & Girls Clubs across the country have<br />

been leaders for many years in being<br />

data-informed organizations. In tracking<br />

everything from attendance to demographics,<br />

program participation and outcomes, and<br />

behavior incidences and responses, having this<br />

data in a centralized system provides staff with tools<br />

to be best equipped to<br />

serve those youth who<br />

need the Clubs most.<br />

The Boys & Girls Clubs<br />

of Skagit County, along<br />

with just over half of all<br />

other Clubs, use a system<br />

called VisionMTS<br />

(Member Tracking System).<br />

In use for more<br />

than a decade, it has been a staple of a series of<br />

platforms used to implement best-practice youth<br />

development strategies. There are two other systems<br />

which have a significant number of Club organizations<br />

using them, and a few more that are truly<br />

specialized for the Clubs served.<br />

After several years of this journey, the Boys<br />

& Girls Clubs of Skagit County is excited to<br />

announce they will be an early adopter of<br />

the system, which is now a comprehensive<br />

Club management system, MyClubHub.<br />

In December 2016, after hearing from local Club<br />

organizations for many years about the need for<br />

an upgraded system that better reflects current<br />

and future needs, Boys & Girls Clubs of America<br />

announced they were embarking on a new venture<br />

to facilitate the creation of a common member<br />

management system. Not long after, Boys & Girls<br />

Clubs of Skagit County<br />

CEO Ron McHenry was<br />

asked to serve on a<br />

small working group of<br />

24 local Club professionals<br />

from all over the<br />

country, to participate in<br />

the building and rollout<br />

of this new system.<br />

During the first few meetings, it was becoming<br />

clear that the project was going to be much greater<br />

than anyone originally anticipated, and at the first<br />

retreat of the full group in 2017, it was decided<br />

that to truly benefit Clubs and strengthen the local<br />

organization to best serve their communities, mul-<br />


tiple systems should be integrated. Not only would<br />

this simplify the process of training and different<br />

departments using different software programs<br />

that did not integrate, it could also lessen soft and<br />

hard costs overall.<br />

After several years of this journey, the Boys & Girls<br />

Clubs of Skagit County is excited to announce they<br />

will be an early adopter of the system, which is<br />

now a comprehensive Club management system,<br />

MyClubHub. Local Club staff have spent the last few<br />

months working to clean up current data, as well<br />

as refining policies and procedures related to data<br />

entry and security, and when the system goes live,<br />

all elements of Club operations will exist within one<br />

secure system.<br />

“This system is much more user-friendly and intuitive<br />

in general and will meet our current needs,”<br />

says McHenry. “But it’s all the things we currently<br />

don’t have the ability to do or do well, that I’m<br />

most excited about.” Through full integration, a<br />

Club member becomes a volunteer who may also<br />

become a staff member, and later, a donor. Despite<br />

operating for more than 20 years, there is no way<br />

to track Alumni directly, nor their outcomes. That<br />

can all change with MyClubHub. Parents can monitor<br />

attendance and program participation directly,<br />

complete all necessary functions and acknowledgments<br />

from a special online parent-portal, and see<br />

the direct value community investment provides<br />

for their families. Donors and investors can access<br />

their giving history in real time, register for events,<br />

and even create pledges and make payments.<br />

More information on MyClubHub is coming soon,<br />

and the organization anticipates a full transition to<br />

the new system between September and December<br />

of this year. It was a long time coming and<br />

seemed to be an eternity before it came to fruition,<br />

but this will be a game changer for the Boys<br />

& Girls Club movement, and the Boys & Girls Clubs<br />

of Skagit County is proud to have played a role in<br />

furthering this work.



Clubs were brand new to this community less than a year ago. Youth are now beginning to rely on the routine<br />

support that Club staff provide, leading to improved grades, increased focus, and regular attendance.<br />

The Concrete Boys & Girls Club opened on<br />

October 1st, 2018 through funding provided<br />

by a 21st Century Community Learning<br />

Grant. Since opening their doors, a major<br />

goal was to improve the academic success for<br />

attending youth by providing a safe space to do<br />

homework and to explore new ways of learning.<br />

Yet, all the tools in the world won’t help a youth<br />

succeed if they don’t have supportive adults in<br />

their lives. The staff of the Concrete Boys & Girls<br />

Club wanted to show youth that they do care and<br />

strive every day to create meaningful relationships<br />

with Club members.<br />

At the Concrete Club’s <strong>Mid</strong>dle School Site, staff<br />

began by learning the name of each youth, and<br />

used a friendly demeanor rather than being overly<br />

authoritative or forcing youth to do an activity. “We<br />

believe that treating the youth with respect and<br />

kindness will help the youth see as us as partners<br />

in their education,” explained Program Specialist,<br />

Bryer Button. Programs at the Club are choice-based<br />

and depending on the number in attendance after<br />

school, there are a number of options for youth to<br />

choose from. However, there is a strong emphasis<br />

on Power Hour, a program that focuses on getting<br />

homework in on time, completing missing assignments,<br />

and reading. If a member doesn’t have<br />

homework, there are a number of educational—<br />

focused activities they can participate in. Club staff<br />

create incentives for them to participate in Power<br />

Hour, like Friday parties, computer time, movies,<br />

prizes, and special field trips.<br />

Sometimes the youth have bad days. Many have<br />

adult responsibilities and it becomes difficult for<br />

them to focus on Algebra or History. “On days like<br />

that, we don’t push them to be involved in the learning<br />

process, instead, we give them space to think<br />


“Many youth, who at first saw us as<br />

untrustworthy, have come back to us, shared<br />

their experiences, and asked for our opinions.”<br />

This is the kind of experience that encourages<br />

a youth to keep coming back to the Club.<br />

and process through their emotions. We always<br />

ask the youth how they are doing, listen to them<br />

non-judgmentally, and give reassurance.” Button<br />

explains that trust is built this way, and as a result<br />

a Club member may be more apt to participate<br />

in programs. “Many youth, who at first saw us as<br />

untrustworthy, have come back to us, shared their<br />

experiences, and asked for our opinions.” This is the<br />

kind of experience that encourages a youth to keep<br />

coming back to the Club.<br />

Building relationships was the first step to build great<br />

futures for the Concrete youth. As the youth began<br />

to trust staff, they began to expand their horizons.<br />

Last February, the Concrete Club organized a College<br />

and Career Fair for the youth, spearheaded by<br />

the <strong>Mid</strong>dle School Site Coordinator, Cheryl Weston.<br />

The Concrete School District hadn’t had a college<br />

and career fair for six years. Weston contacted over<br />

100 Pacific Northwest companies, and the school<br />

and a local church donated hundreds of supplies.<br />

Escorted by their teachers, youth were able to<br />

attend during class hours and had a chance to walk<br />

around and ask questions from over 35 vendors.<br />

The vendors included branches of the military, local<br />

colleges and universities, trade schools, and jobs in<br />

agricultural, transportation, fish & wildlife, and the<br />

forestry services. The fair was so popular they made<br />

a decision to stay open longer, and some youth<br />

went back to visit after school as well.<br />

The College and Career Fair is just one example of<br />

how Club Staff have encouraged Concrete youth<br />

to think about their futures. “Here in the Concrete<br />

community, adult engagement is lacking for many<br />

youth. As a result, our kids have a hard time trusting<br />

adults. But when the members at our Clubs can<br />

open up and discuss their futures, it means we’ve<br />

connected with them. It means that they believe<br />

that we care about them, and they care about us<br />

and are listening,” says Button. Once these relationships<br />

are in place, we can raise the bar on youth<br />

engagement in our Clubs, in schools, and in their<br />

lives. Our Boys & Girls Clubs are not just a place<br />

to catch up on homework, but a community of<br />

support for our members to achieve academic success,<br />

healthy lifestyles, and good character & citizenship—and,<br />

of course, great futures.<br />




I<br />

walked into the Club five years ago just needing<br />

a place to go after school. I assumed that all<br />

the kids would ask what had happened to me<br />

because I favor my right side when I walk. But,<br />

walking around the Club<br />

on my first day, no one<br />

asked about my disability.<br />

From then on, the<br />

Club became a place<br />

where I gained new<br />

friends and let people<br />

see who I am as a person.<br />

The Club supported<br />

me by never treating me<br />

as though I was different, they looked at me like I<br />

was the same as all my peers. And, through their<br />

help, I have had opportunities to serve my community,<br />

grown substantially through the Youth of the<br />

<strong>Year</strong> process, and gained the skills needed to be a<br />

staff member at my Club.<br />

I am honored to represent the Anacortes Club and<br />

Skagit County as Youth of the <strong>Year</strong>. The process<br />

to become Youth of the <strong>Year</strong> was a roller-coaster.<br />

by Kyla Whiton, <strong>2019</strong> Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County Youth of the <strong>Year</strong><br />

Youth of the <strong>Year</strong>, Kyla Whiton currently works part time at the Anacortes Club as a Youth<br />

Development Professional. Recently graduated from Anacortes High School, she looks<br />

forward to college and continuing to enrich Programs at the Clubs.<br />

For me, I recognize that the young people who<br />

need us most include youth with disabilities.<br />

And, from my experience, I know that the<br />

Clubs can be successful in enabling and<br />

empowering them to reach their full potential.<br />

With my mentor, we moved from the Anacortes<br />

Club competition, to the county competition, and<br />

finally competed at the state competition. With<br />

each success, I learned new foundations of essay<br />

writing, public speaking,<br />

and interviewing that will<br />

help me in my future.<br />

While the opportunity to<br />

compete and win scholarships<br />

has been exciting,<br />

my goal as Youth<br />

of the <strong>Year</strong> has always<br />

lined up with the mission<br />

of the Boys & Girls Clubs:<br />

to enable all young people, especially those who<br />

need us most, to reach their full potential as caring,<br />

responsible, and productive citizens. For me, I<br />

recognize that the young people who need us most<br />

include youth with disabilities. And, from my experience,<br />

I know that the Clubs can be successful in<br />

enabling and empowering them to reach their full<br />

potential. I am currently exploring my potential as a<br />

staff at the Clubs.<br />


I get to learn with an amazing group of Club<br />

staff who are all very inviting and want to<br />

hear things that are happening in my life.<br />

From my experiences as a younger member,<br />

I know that being inviting as a staff can be<br />

the greatest encouragement to youth who are<br />

afraid of not being accepted.<br />

As a staff, the kids look up to me and I have inspired<br />

many of them to work hard to succeed. They have<br />

seen me approach Youth of the <strong>Year</strong> as something<br />

that is really enjoyable with great experiences, and<br />

they want to be like me in the sense that they want<br />

to do Youth of the <strong>Year</strong>. I show kids that even though<br />

I have a disability that I am going out into my community<br />

and doing things that people would think<br />

I would not be able to do. In addition to inspiring<br />

youth, I get to learn with an amazing group of Club<br />

staff who are all very inviting and want to hear things<br />

that are happening in my life. From my experiences<br />

as a younger member, I know that being inviting as<br />

a staff can be the greatest encouragement to youth<br />

who are afraid of not being accepted.<br />

My vision for the Clubs is that they will embrace<br />

the highest standards of accessibility. Youth with<br />

disabilities can be empowered through facilities<br />

and programs. In my dream Club, the Club exceeds<br />

the standards in the Americans with Disabilities Act<br />

and is designed to meet any conceivable mobility<br />

continued on page... 26<br />


Proudly Supports<br />

Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County<br />

Currently, my favorite activity to do with<br />

kids is listen to music and do art with them.<br />

It is my favorite because it shows that every<br />

person sees the world and expresses themselves<br />

differently. Doing an activity with differences<br />

is important because it shows that we are<br />

accepting of everyone and the way they are.<br />

26<br />

GREAT<br />

futures<br />

GALA<br />

Save the Date!<br />


skagitclubs.org<br />

challenge. Advocating for improved mobility around<br />

Clubs has been part of my platform for Youth of<br />

the <strong>Year</strong>. The other major piece of my platform is<br />

advocating for programs that enable all youth to<br />

participate. Gym games and games rooms should<br />

be designed to support youth who struggle to get<br />

around the Club.<br />

A diverse and caring staff helps create an atmosphere<br />

that encourages youth. Beyond updating<br />

facilities so that have more space, Clubs can support<br />

youth with differences by hiring staff with differences.<br />

Bringing staff that have experienced the<br />

same things as kids will help youth envision themselves<br />

being successful. Staff with diverse experiences<br />

can develop programs that can reach the<br />

needs of diverse students. Currently, my favorite<br />

activity to do with kids is listen to music and do art<br />

with them. It is my favorite because it shows that<br />

every person sees the world and expresses themselves<br />

differently. Doing an activity with differences<br />

is important because it shows that we are accepting<br />

of everyone and the way they are.<br />

Outside the Club, my opportunities have been limited.<br />

I was given the opportunity to join other youth<br />

organizations and have minimal participation in<br />

sports. But, I was skeptical and afraid that I would<br />

not be able to participate fully in those opportunities.<br />

In contrast, the Club has offered me a wide<br />

range of activities. My hope is that the Clubs only<br />

continue to grow in their ability to support youth<br />

with disabilities. I am grateful to have been Youth<br />

of the <strong>Year</strong> and to be a staff member. Through the<br />

Clubs, I have been empowered to be an advocate<br />

and I know that I am equipped for my future.


HOPE FOR A<br />


“Go for a drive around this community, east or<br />

west, and take a look around.”<br />

That’s what Ron McHenry, CEO of the Boys & Girls<br />

Club of Skagit County<br />

told me during my initial<br />

interview. The Concrete<br />

School District spans<br />

across Highway 20, up<br />

into North Cascades<br />

National Park and down<br />

to Mount Baker National<br />

Forest. It is a huge geographical<br />

area, but<br />

a small and intimate<br />

community. There are<br />

less than 500 students<br />

enrolled in the K-12<br />

school district, and some of them have an hour<br />

ride to and from school.<br />

My interviewers emphasized the rural aspect of the<br />

community, over and over again. “Take a drive and<br />

by Lela Kennedy, Elementary Site Coordinator, Concrete Boys & Girls Club<br />

Lela Kennedy is wrapping up her first year in Skagit County as the Site Coordinator for the Concrete Elementary<br />

Boys & Girls Club. In her submission, she reflects on her observations, including how Club leadership worked to<br />

ensure that the successful candidate hired for the position had a full understanding of both the challenges and<br />

opportunities present, as stability in the lives of the youth at the new Club was of prime importance.<br />

That’s where the Boys & Girls Club of Skagit<br />

County stepped in. This beautiful, rural,<br />

strange community needed a space for<br />

kids to play. This community needed a safe<br />

space for kids to learn. This community<br />

needed a healthy space for kids to eat, and I<br />

wanted to be a part of the organization that<br />

provided that space.<br />

see,” he said. And I did just that. I headed east<br />

first and drove through the whole town in under<br />

three minutes. Hidden behind five gigantic cement<br />

silos, the main street has a burned down historical<br />

cement office and<br />

an empty field. I turned<br />

west and found an<br />

old logging road, wide<br />

enough for one car.<br />

Driveways were gravel,<br />

some of them had blue<br />

nylon tarps draped<br />

across campers or RVs.<br />

Piles of dead branches<br />

and old firewood lined<br />

the bottom of hills. Most<br />

houses were built before<br />

1970; only a handful of<br />

them were new. There are few, if any apartment<br />

buildings or multi-family neighborhoods. All signs<br />

pointed to poverty and at-risk youth.<br />


During the first month, the staff and I<br />

kept asking questions. “What are three of<br />

your strengths?” Kindness, friendliness,<br />

and fun were the main answers. “What<br />

are two of your weaknesses?” “Math<br />

and reading,” most answered. That’s<br />

where we started—at the beginning.<br />

That’s where the Boys & Girls Club of Skagit County<br />

stepped in. This beautiful, rural, strange community<br />

needed a space for kids to play. This community<br />

needed a safe space for kids to learn. This community<br />

needed a healthy space for kids to eat, and<br />

I wanted to be a part of the organization that provided<br />

that space.<br />

We opened October 1st, 2018, and a flood of youth<br />

poured into our building. Each one was hesitant and<br />

untrusting of these strange outsiders discussing the<br />

mission, vision, and values of our organization. We<br />

started with one simple question, “What do you want<br />

to be when you grow up?” The answers spanned from<br />

a pizza maker to joining the military; only one or two<br />

youth wanted to further their education and go to<br />

college to become a veterinarian or doctor. However,<br />

most of the youth told me they had no plans; they<br />

didn’t know of anything they could be.<br />

During the first month, the staff and I kept asking questions.<br />

“What are three of your strengths?” Kindness,<br />

friendliness, and fun were the main answers. “What<br />

are two of your weaknesses?”<br />

“Math and reading,” most answered. That’s where we<br />

started—at the beginning. I sat down with a fourth<br />

grader every day for six weeks; she read at a first-grade<br />

continued on page... 31<br />



At our three-month mark, we asked the<br />

same question: “What do you want to<br />

be when you grow up?” Librarian, heart<br />

surgeon, artist, plumber, logger, engineer:<br />

new possibilities started to form in the<br />

youths’ minds. Ideas for adventures<br />

and plans for the future, thinking<br />

about things that had never crossed<br />

their minds before came tumbling out.<br />

level. We sat down every day, and she read me a book.<br />

We started with simple addition, adding double-digit<br />

numbers. “Remember to carry the tens,” we said over<br />

and over again. We started at the ABCs—“Alice the<br />

alligator enjoys apples.”We started with Dr. Seuss and<br />

Little Pickle books. We read every day. We practiced<br />

speaking with clarity and conviction, and we had fun.<br />

At our three-month mark, we asked the same question:<br />

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”<br />

Librarian, heart surgeon, artist, plumber, logger, engineer:<br />

new possibilities started to form in the youths’<br />

minds. Ideas for adventures and plans for the future,<br />

thinking about things that had never crossed their<br />

minds before came tumbling out. The Club turned<br />

into a place to make mistakes and spill paint, a spot to<br />

read, a place to do homework, a career fair, and a science<br />

fair. We taught one another how to say new big<br />

words, like “electromagnetic,” and looked up words<br />

in a dictionary, like “peninsula.” We discovered new<br />

places on a map and read about new lands and old<br />

ways of life. We laughed together. We cried together.<br />

We’ve yelled in frustration, and we’ve healed together.<br />

The Concrete Boys & Girls Club opened because<br />

there was a need. A need to bring a town, hidden by<br />

five huge cement silos, back into the open. It needed<br />

a place for youth to be themselves and learn new<br />

things every day. Come on up Highway 20 and drive<br />

around. Take a look around. If you’re lucky enough,<br />

you’ll see what I saw—hope for great futures.<br />

A day at the Concrete Club: Youth at the Elementary site love to play<br />

outside (page 29). Current page, top to bottom: A member works on a<br />

math sheet during Power Hour, a group studies a “how to draw” book,<br />

a member finds a quiet area to read.<br />




What a couple of nights under the<br />

Skagit sky! Keys for Kids <strong>2019</strong> is in the<br />

books and some tunes are still working<br />

their way out of our heads. This<br />

year provided a unique experience that will linger<br />

long after the final note<br />

was played on Saturday<br />

night, with stories of<br />

each evening sure to be<br />

re-told countless times,<br />

year after year. Keys<br />

for Kids is fast becoming<br />

a truly unmissable<br />

highlight of the Skagit<br />

County Summer social<br />

calendar through its unique blend of music, games,<br />

delicious food & beverage, and philanthropy in a<br />

gorgeous outdoor setting.<br />

This year continued the trend of new guests showing<br />

up to be wowed by what they find inside the gardens<br />

at Keys for Kids, which echoes the experience many<br />

youth have when they walk into our Boys & Girls Clubs<br />

The growth of the Keys for Kids’ audience is<br />

humbling, and a true testament to the Skagit<br />

community’s belief in the Clubs’ mission and<br />

passion for a good time in support of a great<br />

cause—in this case, Great Futures.<br />

for the first time, often because a friend had convinced<br />

them to give it a try. The growth of the Keys for Kids’<br />

audience is humbling, and a true testament to the<br />

Skagit community’s belief in the Clubs’ mission and<br />

passion for a good time in support of a great cause—<br />

in this case, Great Futures.<br />

We were joined once<br />

again in collaborative spirit<br />

by our sisters & brothers in<br />

service from the Boys &<br />

Girls Clubs of Whatcom<br />

County, who brought their<br />

bean-bag toss game to<br />

liven up the festivities.<br />

New games this year featured new challenges for our<br />

guests to complement some favorites from last year,<br />

and the harmonious tension of a competitive spirit<br />

was alive and well as everyone had a blast competing<br />

to win a chance at some great raffle prizes.<br />

New this year were delectable creations by La Conner<br />

Seafood & Prime Rib House that hit all the right sum-<br />


Opposite left: Who can resist the photobooth with all those zany costumes?! Current page, left to right: Guests enjoy a game of water bottle toss, Rich<br />

Wyman of Killer Keyz jamming out a song request, Club members enjoy running the games.<br />

mery notes, perfectly complemented the curated list of<br />

wine from Thurston Wolfe Winery, beers from Boundary<br />

Bay Brewery & Bistro, and ice cream from Lopez Island<br />

Creamery. Song requests were lively and set a fast<br />

tempo as many a song was stopped & started again by<br />

competing bids, and a wonderful time was had by all.<br />

Oh, and it’s on, now—gauntlets were thrown down<br />

by the Club cohorts of Mount Vernon, Anacortes,<br />

Sedro-Woolley and Concrete in the Lip Sync Battle,<br />

and as we look to bring the Burlington Boys & Girls<br />

Club on board for next year, it looks to be a budding<br />

tradition. An East County Showdown on Saturday<br />

night followed an Island vs Valley Face-off on Friday.<br />

These youth put tremendous effort into their choreographed<br />

routines, mixing humor and the joy of community<br />

into each performance.<br />

Many a “Mission Moment” occurred over Friday &<br />

Saturday night as we witnessed guests celebrating<br />

the success of our youth and providing even greater<br />

opportunities for their futures. Youth celebrated Pride<br />

Month, spoke eloquently about the meaningful<br />

impact the Club has on their lives, and demonstrated<br />

just how valuable Boys & Girls Clubs are to our communities.<br />

They shared how PowerHour helps them<br />

stay ahead in their schoolwork, how SMART programs<br />

help them feel more confident in themselves and their<br />

decision making, and how Keystone Club helps them<br />

become servant leaders in their community.<br />

Keys for Kids is serious fun: we are proud to invite<br />

the community to help us live out our organizational<br />

value of Fun, and to commit community resources<br />

to providing opportunities to youth that will fulfill our<br />

mission: to enable all young people, especially those<br />

who need us most, to reach their full potential as<br />

productive, caring, responsible citizens. We can do<br />

this because, thanks to our sponsors whose support<br />

covers all hard & soft costs, all proceeds raised at<br />

Keys for Kids can be invested directly into providing<br />

high-impact programs, high-yield learning activities,<br />

and high-quality Club experiences that will shape the<br />

lives and futures of thousands of youth across Skagit<br />

County. This can only happen because of the tremendous<br />

generosity and support the Skagit County community<br />

demonstrates.<br />

Thank you everyone—our sponsors, the Allstate<br />

Agents who helped to set up, our volunteer assistants<br />

both nights, our guests, our catering & beverage support,<br />

our venue, our performers, all those who gave<br />

so generously, not to mention our Club Members<br />

who were the stars of the show—for an unbelievable<br />

event and truly humbling investment in our Boys &<br />

Girls Clubs of Skagit County. Because of all of you,<br />

the Clubs were able to raise over $100,000 in revenue<br />

to support the programs & opportunities youth find<br />

inside our Clubs’ Blue Doors. Thank you for helping<br />

our youth compose their own Great Future!<br />

As we begin to grow roots at Stepping Stones Garden,<br />

we look for Great Futures not just for Keys for Kids in<br />

Skagit County, but also the thousands of youth who<br />

grow up here.<br />




Burlington sees a new Club site open for 6th-8th graders, with big plans for the following school year.<br />

Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County established<br />

a new 21st Century Community Learning Center<br />

for teens at Lucille Umbarger Elementary in<br />

Burlington this last April. The program is gaining<br />

momentum with about twenty middle school students<br />

enrolled. This new Club is a great place for members<br />

to work on homework, spend time with friends, and<br />

make new friends while enjoying the many programs<br />

that the Club has to offer. Club members are already<br />

declaring some of their favorites—DIY STEM, Fine Arts,<br />

and Healthy Habits. Youth recently celebrated the end<br />

of the school year with a pizza party. They were already<br />

discussing what activities they would like to plan for the<br />

fall when the program returns. Those plans include programs<br />

focusing on cooking, astronomy, STEM, Healthy<br />

Habits & Choices, Art, and Oceanography.<br />

The new Site Coordinator, Christina Trader, has set<br />

high expectations for the <strong>2019</strong>-20 school year. “My<br />

hope is that this site will reach more than 100 students<br />

throughout the year. Our goal is to introduce<br />

regular family nights and to collaborate with the<br />

school to support our members in reaching academic<br />

success. I’d love to see us include a science<br />

fair and an art festival!”<br />

Students of Allen Elementary School will have the<br />

opportunity to attend during the summer as well, with<br />

some college campus visits planned for the teens.<br />

Christina Trader comes to the program with ten years<br />

of Boys & Girls Club experience and a background in<br />

education & math. In her free time Christina loves to<br />

spend time near the ocean, reading, writing, scrapbooking,<br />

and spending time with her family. She is also<br />

an active Rotarian, and is President-Elect of her Rotary<br />

Club. Christina’s passion to help children achieve their<br />

goals and potential is evident when she works with<br />

Club members to complete homework and in activity<br />

planning. She believes that the Club is about creating<br />

a family-type atmosphere and having fun while learning.<br />

Christina is excited to be part of #SkagitPride and<br />

work with the Burlington Community!<br />



STEM programs<br />

for the<br />

BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS of Skagit County<br />

From engineers to pipefitters, chemists to accountants, IT specialists to welders,<br />

Marathon’s success relies on our ability to recruit and retain employees with<br />

exceptional STEM-related skills. As an employer constantly seeking out top-talent<br />

and as a socially responsible corporate citizen, supporting STEM education-related<br />

programs is the cornerstone of Marathon’s community investment strategy.<br />

We are proud to collaborate with the Boys & Girls Club of Skagit County on the<br />

establishment of the Marathon STEM Academy, and further its mission to enable all<br />

young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.<br />


PO Box 947<br />

Mount Vernon, WA 98273<br />



Boys&<br />

Girls&<br />

Mentors&<br />

STEM&<br />

Field Trips<br />

&<br />

Whatever<br />

It Takes to<br />

Build Great<br />

Futures.<br />


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