The 25th anniversary of The Boys & Girls Club of the Sandhills was commemorated last week with a ceremony and generous donation of $25,000 gifted by local business Veterans Guardians VA Claim Consulting. Additionally, Congressman Hudson himself acknowledged and applauded the accomplishments achieved by The Boys & Girls Club in the past two and half decades since its founding.
With headquarters in Pinehurst and local to Moore County, the team behind Veterans Guardians is passionate about giving back to the community. Founder Scott Greenblatt and Chief Operating Officer William Taylor both attended the ceremony on behalf of Veterans Guardians to speak and present the check on the evening of Jan. 6.
When Taylor addressed the crowd — which was comprised mostly of the very children who regularly utilize The Boys & Girls Club of the Sandhills — he said it short and sweet in words his young audience could understand. “We get to be better people when we work together,” he encouraged. “So let’s all keep it up.”
The ceremony was held at the Logan-Blake Unit in Pinehurst with many of the club’s regular visitors in attendance. The children set down their games and climbed off of the playground to listen to Greenblatt and Taylor speak on the importance of kindness, community, and sharing. In return, the children performed The Boys & Girls Club chant for their guests, raised their hands for questions, and excitedly posed for photos.
On average, The Boys & Girls Club of the Sandhills works with nearly 600 children a day, and with the addition of their newest location opened at Sandhills Community College, this number is expected to rise.
Steve Kastner, Chief Executive Officer of The Boys & Girls Club of the Sandhills, emphasized the program’s gratitude for all of their sponsors, Veterans Guardians included. “We have so many events planned, and generosity like this makes what we do feasible,” Kastner explained.
As it stands, the organization currently has four unique locations in Moore County and employs more than 40 workers to tend to the facilities and children. Their young visitors are offered an impressive assortment of productive activities, games, workshops, and even a hot meal.
The Boys & Girls Club of the Sandhills works closely with many local organizations, and almost all of their funding comes from sponsors and private donors. Among these donors is the Moore County Food Bank, which assists in seeing that the children are provided with meals that are not just warm and filling, but also satisfy state guidelines for nutrition, as well.
During the celebration, one guest praised the “tremendous work” The Boys & Girls Club does for the community, while another noted the enormous amount of “work, time, and dedication” that goes into the club’s efforts — particularly that the club provides over 11,000 meals a month at no cost.
Moving forward, The Boys & Girls Club of the Sandhills’ mission remains to “inspire, enable and educate young people from all backgrounds and circumstances to realize their full potential as responsible, productive and caring citizens.” Kastner and the rest of the team hope to carry this ideal for decades to come and to continue inspiring the youths of the Sandhills through good will and community outreach.
~Article and photo by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Abegail Murphy.