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By Michelle Lewis

MAYBE A FUTURE PRESIDENT, WITH YOUR HELP

By Michelle Lewis Posted July 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm

What do President Bill Clinton, Michael Jordan, Senator George Mitchell, Bill Cosby, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, General Wesley Clark, and Denzel Washington all have in common? 
 
As children, they all belonged to Boys & Girls Clubs like the one organizers hope to open at the Pine Knolls Community Center in Chapel Hill next year. www.bgcepnc.org 
Their first major fundraiser – “Dancing with the Stars of Carolina” – will be held at the Carolina Inn on August 27th.
 
Boys and Girls Clubs provide children from challenging circumstances with the programming, mentors, and caring adults needed to help them as they grow into outstanding young men and women. http://www.bgca.org/Pages/index.aspx
 
Actor Denzel Washington, who is a strong advocate for the Boys & Girls Clubs across America, said the club to which he belonged was “where I learned how to play ball, how to focus and set my mind on a goal, where I learned about consequences and where I learned how to be a man.” 

The Boys & Girls Clubs’ key programs emphasize leadership development; education and career exploration; community service; technology training; financial literacy; health and life skills; the arts; and fitness and recreation.
 
The need for Boys & Girls Clubs is even greater now that federal budgets for after-school programs and programs for at-risk youth have been cut. Although even in the best years, government funding can never do it all. As Boys & Girls Club alum Bill Clinton has said, “There will never be enough money or effort to come out of Washington that can substitute for the relationships you will build at the Boys & Girls Club.” 

That’s exactly why Ben Perry of East West Partners in Chapel Hill decided to spearhead the effort to start a club here in Chapel Hill. “I noticed that there were Boys & Girls Clubs in Durham County, Chatham, Alamance, and seven in Wake, but none in Orange. The more I thought about it, the more I became dedicated to making sure we start one for the young people here in Orange County.”

You can help make this happen. 
 
How? Well, you can start by attending their “Dancing with the Stars of Carolina” fundraiser on August 27th at the Carolina Inn. Tickets are just $125 for a night of entertainment provided by local “stars” including Tammy Davis, Annise Ginyard (yes, Marcus’ mom), Freddy Kiger, UNC/Pittsburgh Steelers player Corey Holliday, and WCHL’s own Ron Stutts. For more information go to: www.dancingwiththestarsofcarolina.com.
 
Who knows, maybe one day a future president will say, “When I was at the Boys & Girls Club of Chapel Hill….”

UPDATE: on Dancing With the Stars of Carolina. UNC Womens’ Basketball and Hall of Fame Coach, Sylvia Hatchell and her husband, Sammie, will be demonstrating their shagging skills in a special dance presentation to their favorite song. Also, Assistant UNC Football Coach Charlie Williams’ wife, Lisa, will be joining the lineup of celebrity dancers.

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