Discovering Club Alumni…Totally By Accident

Everyone has heard the ‘it’s a small world’ phrase, and it’s most often associated with finding out someone you know knows someone else you didn’t know they knew, or something like that…which is awfully complicated but stay with me on this.  J   Thankfully, there is a whole new twist on the ‘small world’ theme that will (further) debunk some of the misconceptions about who comes through our doors.

 

The ink had not even dried on a new life insurance policy just days ago when the young agent declared his status as a former Club kid—out of nowhere.  Apparently his aunt or grandparents—can’t remember which—live(d) near our east side (Lutsey Unit) facility on University Avenue and he came almost daily during the summer.  Who knew…he may very well end up being active as a volunteer on our behalf soon.  Very cool…and nice to see.

 

As we were walking out after our meeting that made me worth FAR more dead than alive, the ‘Twilight Zone’ episode continued as I learned the head honcho of a video company here filming Club kids for our virtual annual report was also an alumnus of our organization!  Oh, and he was doing this video work for us as an in-kind contribution to give back…gotta love it.

 

(two unexpected discoveries within 5 minutes of one another—both successful businessmen who had nothing but good things to say about their Club experiences…can it get any better?  of course it can…)   

 

It’s been said that ‘two is a coincidence, three is a trend’ so let’s establish the pattern.  Just a few short weeks back, a colleague and I were meeting with a prospective Board member, who disclosed fond memories of the west side (Nagel Unit) facility where he and friends used to come all the time.  Interestingly, he has remained in touch with a few of those buddies over the last two+ decades, and agreed to invite them back for our 40th anniversary celebration this fall.

 

By the way, I’m a Club kid from another state and our current Board President was a member in La Crosse year ago…so there’s probably a Club alumnus in YOUR world too…just ask around…we’re everywhere!

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One thought on “Discovering Club Alumni…Totally By Accident

  1. There was a woman who was out for a walk on the beach along the ocean. In the distance, she sees a child repeatedly bending, picking something up, and throwing it into the water as the tide receded. She gets closer and sees that there are thousands of starfish lying on the beach under the hot sun, dying. She again looks at the little boy and realizes he is trying to throw the starfish back into the water to save them. She approaches him and says, “What are you doing? Don’t you see that there are thousands of starfish here and that you cannot make a difference by throwing a few back in the water?” He bends down, picks up another starfish and says, “Makes a difference to this one.”

    It only takes one person to change the course of a life. It only takes one person to make a difference. In my life, I have had role models and mentors from the east side Boys and Girls Club and instead of lecturing me or talking about themselves, they told me about what it meant to help others…what it meant to make a difference in peoples’ lives. Then they told me that I could do the same…that they saw in me the potential to pursue a helping profession and to make a difference in others’ lives.

    I can only imagine what they really saw in me when I was just 11 years old. I certainly did not have the ability to see myself as much more than a kid. But, what they did for me was invaluable. They seeded in me an idea … a thought about what I might become … more importantly, what I might become for others.

    This idea was nurtured through my interest in psychology and human development in my undergraduate degree and currently my passion in social work at the graduate level. At each level, I came to appreciate the value of education for both personal and professional success. Through education, I believe we find out who we are and who we want to become…as an individual and within our communities. Education shapes the person you are and, in part, your priorities. Without this inspiration, and a little perspiration, we put at risk not only our future, but that of the generations who follow us.

    The value of life is measured by not what you got, but what you gave; not what you bought, but what you built. What will matter are the lives you touched and when someone says “you made a difference in my life and who I am,” then you know you lived a life that matters. Now is the time for us to make a difference as adults—as our legacy and as our future. It is time to show our appreciation for those who inspired us and for us to give back because of what we’ve been able to accomplish as individuals and as a community of professionals. Making a difference begins with the recognition that you can live beyond yourself—that you can seize the opportunity to live a life that is above the ordinary, one that really matters. Look at the big picture.

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