Today’s alumni story highlights, as have the previous 3, what happens for kids when they have a place in their community where adult leaders (a.k.a. mentors and role models) see and hear them, and accept them for who they are. As BGC kids maneuver through their school age years, their Club is the place to belong, learn through doing, play, safely fail, work through their challenges, and come out the other side believing in themselves. Grant Hansen grew up to be the “big boss” at a place we’re all familiar with: Canada Safeway! Grant credits Boys and Girls Clubs with helping him to “be a better person”. While we knew that he, just like all of our kids, was amazing to start with, we know that his Club helped him grow up to be the amazing person he is today.
Click here to learn more about BGC’s 80th birthday!
Do you remember when you were 9 or 10 years of age?
What if at that age someone had asked you if you would like to make new friends, or better still, have a “place” to go with your existing friends? What would you say if that same someone told you that while you were at that “place” you would be safe and bullying would not be allowed? If they were to suggest that you could be part of a team, learn basic woodworking or numerous other skills or crafts, what would you say? Before you answer, what if they said you could spend hours playing games indoors with your friends. Games like, shuffleboard, ping pong, checkers or other board games, or participate in activities in a gymnasium or play outdoors on a baseball or soccer field.
What would you say if after your homework was done and supper finished you could walk with friends to a “place” that was supervised and offered all of the above in a safe environment? How would “you” answer?
I answered Yes… and joined “that place”… Kiview Boys Club.
The club was located on 8th Avenue between Ash and Heather Streets in Vancouver. You probably have noted above that in those years it was the Boys Club. Today the clubs are proudly referred to as the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast BC.
Kiview was special then and to me still is to this day. I have so many good memories. The friends I met, who to this day I am proud to say are still special friends. The sports teams we played on, the evenings in the games room, learning to play floor hockey or basketball in the gym. Who can forget the Camp Potlatch stories. I had to experience those through friends as unfortunately I never did attend.
While at Kiview we learned what I like to refer to as Life Skills. Skills such as being a team player, honesty, trust, reliability, sharing and most important, respect for others. Imagine learning and developing these skills and the fee to do so was nominal, which meant a great deal in those days.
Kiview was instrumental in helping me develop and ultimately evolve into the husband, father and grandfather I am today. I am a better person as a result of belonging to Kiview. The Boys Club helped me as a youngster choose the right path. It was a place I could be myself and not feel threatened or intimidated. The club staff encouraged me to learn and grow as an individual. The skills and values which staff members like Merv Ovesen, and our softball coach Pat and others taught me, I use and practise to this day.
The staff at your club are there for you. They are trained to help. Their aim is for you to succeed. They will work with you and help you to develop into one of tomorrows leaders. Allow them to help you reach your goals.
What is your role? Your role is to respect your fellow members and always support what it is the Boys and Girls Clubs stands for.
The Boys and Girls Clubs are there for you. Seize the opportunity. I did.
In conclusion the staff is keenly interested in having you become
“A GOOD CLUB MEMBER… AND A GOOD PERSON”