Written by Panorama resident, Bill Cornette. June 2017
On the 25th of May 2017, a breakfast was held on Saint Martin’s University campus to raise money for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Thurston County (BGCTC). Panorama sponsored a table at the breakfast, which was attended by eight residents who also contributed to the fundraiser: Mary Jo Shaw, Sue Ballard, Jan Prokop, April Works, Rosa Barton, Suzanne Hanson, Bill Cornette, and Sylvia Cornette. The day of the breakfast was also National Red Nose Day, a global campaign to raise awareness and money for impoverished children across the world, so each participant at the breakfast was given a foam red nose to wear.
The day started early, with everyone arriving before 7:00 a.m. Each person was greeted by a large group of cheering kids who gave us all big “high fives” to welcome us to the event. A buffet breakfast was provided with scrambled eggs, hash brown potatoes, bacon, muffins, and pastries, along with coffee, tea, and orange juice. During the breakfast, the Tumwater High School Jazz Band entertained us.
The program began at 7:30 a.m. with the Boys and Girls Club Members leading the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Jerry Farmer was the Master of Ceremonies with Opening Remarks, followed by Recognition of Sponsors, a video showing “A Day in the Clubs,” and a Welcome and Acknowledgements from Katya Miltimore, the BGCTC Executive Director. Then Dick Cvitanich, the retiring Superintendent of Olympia Public Schools, was presented with the Governor’s Leadership for Youth Award.
Seattle Police Detective Denise “Cookie” Bouldin gave the Keynote speech, telling her life story of growing up in the Chicago projects and dreaming about becoming a police officer – and how the support she got at a Boys and Girls Club was instrumental in her achieving her goal.
Sebastian “Zebbie” Castilleja, who is the 2016 Washington State Boys and Girls Clubs Youth of the Year and received the 2016 Governor’s Community Service, told about growing up with a meth-addicted mother and an alcoholic father, but due to his participation in the Boys and Girls Clubs, he is currently attending Washington State University.
Jerry Farmer thanked everyone for their support of Boys and Girls Clubs of Thurston County, and closed the ceremony at 8:40 a.m.
Here are some of the thoughts from our Panorama attendees after the breakfast:
“Any day where the community focuses on kids is a GREAT day.” – Sue Ballard
“Was amazed at the number of agencies represented who truly help children. It showed Washington’s commitment to the youngest and most vulnerable citizens.” – Rosa Barton
“It was so exciting to be greeted by the very enthusiastic Boys and Girls Club members. Revs me up to work with them on the Minaert Gallery project this summer. ” – Suzanne Hansen
“Attending the Boys & Girls Fundraiser enthusiasm–from kids to speakers–woke up my 55 years of teaching. I’ve always loved working with children…encouraging, teaching, playing, listening. I don’t have lots of time, but want to make time to help and be with the children when I am able.” – Mary Jo Shaw
“Jan and I had no idea how influential and effective the Boys & Girls clubs are. What an inspiring way to start off our day.” – April Works & Jan Prokop
“Kudos to the boys and girls, the speakers, and the officials for educating attendees about the importance of BGCTC to the kids and to the community, we left with a feeling of awe and a smile on our faces. We’d be delighted to be back next year.” – Bill & Sylvia Cornette