Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County hosted an event at The CLUB at Southeast High School in honor of the Club members who are moving on to the next grade or graduating in the Class of 2016. The celebration, which included food from Taco Bell and educational and motivational guest speaker Toastmasters’ regional champion Dwight Gilmer. This was made possible through a $4,700 grant from the Taco Bell® Foundation.

“The young men and women of The CLUB at Southeast High School have worked so hard and it’s a thrill to share in their success toward earning their diplomas,” said Dawn Stanhope, President/CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County. “We appreciate the Taco Bell® Foundation for recognizing and celebrating our new grads and committing to our future ones through the Foundation’s long-term support right here in Manatee County.”

The grant is part of a partnership between the Taco Bell® Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of America that is expected to raise $30 million to support more young people through high school graduation and beyond.

“At Taco Bell, you could say that America’s young people are at the heart and soul of our brand. They are our customers, our employees and our next generation of leaders,” said Frank Tucker Chief People Officer at Taco Bell and President for the Taco Bell Foundation. “We believe it is our responsibility to invest in these future leaders and help them succeed. Our partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America is an extension of our commitment to ensure youth are empowered to graduate from high school and go onto achieve their dreams.”

MANATEE COUNTY, FL – Elizabeth Moore’s involvement with the Boys & Girls Clubs began long before becoming a board member for the Foundation for Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County. Prior to 2007, the Moore family lived in the Boston area, where Elizabeth was first introduced to the Clubs by the Kraft family, one of many prominent Bostonian names involved with Boys & Girls Clubs .

“The first project I helped with was building a gym for the Club in Chelsea,” said Elizabeth. “After being in school all day, the kids needed a place to have fun and burn off energy.”

Elizabeth served on the board of directors for Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston for over ten years. During that time, one of the other things she enjoyed was serving on a development committee to provide better nutrition for the Club members.

Philanthropy is firmly established in the Boston area. That’s where the Moore family’s charitable enthusiasm originated. Along with Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, the Moore family gave their support to area institutions such as the Boston Symphony, Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Science, Peabody Essex Museum and various independent schools and colleges. Elizabeth currently serves on the board of trustees for the Museum of Science in Boston.

When the Moore family moved to Bradenton in 2007 they brought their philanthropic spirit with them. Elizabeth soon joined the board of Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School, where she led the charge for the world-class Moore Athletic Complex at Turner Fields and the Marine Science Center.

Then, with a recommendation from her friend, Hugh Miller, owner of Pier 22 and one of our foundation board members, Elizabeth joined the board of directors of the Foundation for Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County.

“With my experience with the Clubs in Boston, it made sense to become involved in Manatee County,” said Elizabeth.

When asked what made her want to get involved with the Clubs, Elizabeth replied, “The importance of providing a place for kids to belong, feel ownership and have good role models.” She also shared that, both in Boston and in Manatee County, she heard Club kids say, “The Boys & Girls Club has saved my life!”

Recently, Elizabeth joined the board of Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium. Marine Science is one of her passions, which she shares with her daughter, Merry. She is supporting the new Mote Coral Reef Restoration Lab in Summerland Key. She and Merry literally dove right in with scientists to help restore reefs. Dr. Michael P. Crosby, President and CEO of Mote, described Elizabeth as the “ideal board member” because of her enthusiasm, influence and generosity.

It is because of her enthusiastic support of these local organizations and beyond, that Elizabeth Moore received the Spirit of Manatee Special Recognition Award in March. We are proud of her and thrilled to have her as a member of our leadership.

Lourde Blanc to Now Vie for State Title and Scholarship

Bradenton, March 7, 2016 – Lorde Blanc was announced as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County 2016 Youth of the Year. The announcement came at a Youth of the Year celebration dinner held at IMG Academy Golf Club on February 24. Lourde, a 17-year old member of The CLUB at Southeast High School, will compete against other Boys & Girls Club members for the Florida Youth of the Year title and a $5,000 college scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). The Youth of the Year program honors our nation’s most awe-inspiring young people on their path to great futures and encourages all kids to lead, succeed and inspire. As the new Youth of the Year for Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County, Lourde is a true example of an extraordinary young woman recognized by BGCA for her leadership, service, academic excellence and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle.

“After an intense competition between Lourde and our DeSoto and Palmetto Club Youth of the Year finalists, we are pleased to recognize her accomplishment of being named Youth of the Year. She will do a wonderful job serving as our ambassador in the community and we are excited to watch her grow as she prepares for the state title,” expressed Dawn Stanhope, President of Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County.

“My time at the Club has made me realize my value to others. It opened my eyes to the world around me,” said Blanc, a junior at Southeast High School and Club member for three years.

George Schrier, Assistant Principal at Southeast High School, has known Lourde for two years and credits the Club for playing an important role in helping her overcome adversity to become a well-rounded, successful student and athlete. “Lourde Blanc personifies all that is positive about education,” said Schrier.
Part of Lourde’s Club Experience includes Keystone Club, a teen leadership and good character development program where members learn skills to positively impact their peers, Club and community. During the 2015 holiday season, she took part in a Keystone project that raised money to buy teddy bears for the children at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. She also gives her time to her church’s teen outreach program, where they discuss the challenges that teens face and the steps to staying on a path to success. Blanc’s plan beyond graduating high school includes attending college for criminal justice and continuing to help teens realize their potential.
During the celebration dinner, IMG Academy awarded Lourde with a $1,000 scholarship toward college. If she wins at the state competition, she will compete for the title of Southeast Region Youth of the Year and an additional $10,000 college scholarship, renewable for four years up to $40,000. Five regional winners will advance to Washington, D.C., in September 2016, to compete for the title of BGCA’s National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year will receive an additional scholarship of $25,000, renewable each year up to $100,000 and will have the opportunity to meet with the President of the United States in the White House. Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year recognition program is presented by Disney, with additional support from University of Phoenix and the Taco Bell Foundation.

BRADENTON, FL – Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube was honored as the first inductee into the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County Alumni Hall of Fame on Thursday, October 8. The announcement came during the Boys & Girls Clubs’ fundraiser, Homecoming – Party on the Porch, held at Palma Sola Botanical Park in Bradenton.

Dawn Stanhope, President of Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County invited Sheriff Steube to join her at the front of the room, where she presented him with an award that read, “With deep appreciation for your support and the positive influence you provide to Boys & Girls Club members and youth of our community. Your success provides an inspiring example to Club members that dedication and hard work will enable them to achieve a great future.”

Steube was a Club member in the late 60’s when it was the Boys Club. In 1967, he was named “Boy of the Year” for the Bayshore Boys Club. At that time, he was a member of the junior staff at the Club, where he demonstrated leadership and a willingness to help.

When addressing those in attendance, he recalled how he couldn’t wait to get to the Club every day and the valuable life lessons he learned.

“I believe that I wouldn’t be the man I am today if I didn’t go to the Boys Club,” said Steube.

After reflecting back, Sheriff Steube spoke of the value of the Boys & Girls Clubs today.

“There are thousands of kids that walk into the Boys & Girls Clubs, like I did when I was a kid. They get help with homework, work on computer skills, play sports and have fun with their friends. They are provided mentors that help them with life’s challenges. I’ve seen, too often, what a young person can turn to when they are unsupervised and have no place to go.  The Clubs help to keep our kids on the right track,” said Steube.