Canyon Branch Closures February 16 - March 10
This is our chance to say thank you to the volunteers who go beyond the call of duty to help staff and make a positive impact on the kids. Each of the following volunteers or groups has been nominated by one or more staff members to receive this recognition. Those who meet certain criteria, such as giving 10+ hours per month or doing a short project, will receive our Wave of Thanks award. We will send them a certificate and publicize their accomplishment here. For undertaking a bigger project or giving 20+ hours per month, volunteers are in the running for a Big Kahuna award, which comes with a gift from the children. We greatly appreciate the efforts from all our volunteers, because each of them demonstrates the value of community service to our Club members. Their position as a role model to the children is incredibly meaningful.
As our ambassador at the Montage Hotel, Mauricio has done an amazing job helping us with our biggest fundraiser of the year, the annual Art of Giving Gala. For 2015, he assisted us in setting up the Montage Hotel for “Viva Laguna!”, and donated a videographer for the event. A beautiful video has been produced about the Gala, thanks to Mauricio. He was also head of the Winter Concert Classic, a fantastic musical experience with Kenny Loggins at the Festival of Arts that benefitted the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach. Mauricio has also helped design our exciting theme for next year’s Gala, which is Jimmy Buffett’s “Cheeseburger in Paradise!” All of these things he did in addition to regular Board meeting attendance. We appreciate it, Mauricio!
Raymond has connected us with Cox Communications, which has benefited the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach in several ways. We have gotten support for our big summer carnival several times from Cox employees who run an air-powered rocket launcher for the kids, as well as commercial media coverage. Raymond has served on our Board of Directors as Governance Chair too, which has had a huge impact as he helps define our strategies for the future. By reworking our governance processes, he has improved our efficiency, accountability, transparency, responsiveness, and inclusivity. His personal skills of strategic problem-solving, goal-setting, and planning have helped us maximize our use of resources. We are very grateful for his time and input over the years.
Oliver is active, enjoys being at the Club, and jumped right in to start playing with the kids. He is very responsible, well-mannered, thoughtful and respectful. He’s also a great orator, and spoke to the whole staff about why he likes the Club. It takes a lot more to work at the Club than just playing with the kids, it also takes passion, which Oliver has. You can see the joy he has to be here, and hear about it in the positive reviews everyone has for him. He exhibits professionalism, quality of character, and good communication, all with positive energy. We are very happy he chose to intern with us!
Brian Bergen has really gone above and beyond to serve the kids and staff of the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach. He started by offering to manage a number of college-bound teen portfolios, and then helped with one of our biggest fundraisers of the year, Girls Night Out. He is always happy to help in whatever way he can. When Boys Basketball League started, he took on two teams as a head coach. With all that responsibility, he shifted his own schedule around quite a bit to accommodate all the practices and games. He also keeps an eye on the gym when asked, since he learned how it runs. On top of all this, Brian built a partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach and Groupon. This is certain to benefit our organization, and we appreciate his efforts with that!
Niko builds great relationships with our members. Niko would encourage kids to participate and be active while at the Club. He’s great working with kids and we would welcome him back at Bluebird!
Hunter is positive, happy, a go-getter, and has fun with the kids. He looks for things to do and helps any way he can. He was happy to pick up the extra task of calling parents about basketball camp, which allowed the staff to work on other things. You can always find him throwing around a football or playing other sports with the kids on the playground - the kids got more exercise thanks to him!
It’s great when Kaio joins us in the gym, because he’s helpful there with sports. He plays soccer and basketball with the kids, or anything else that’s happening in the gym or on the playground. With his sports skills, he is a role model to the kids and encourages them to practice more and increase their own prowess. Thanks Kaio!
Kids relate well to Qwentin, and he does a superb job of interacting with them. He exhibits patience and energy, which is a powerful combination for working with kids. We love to have him here as an alumni, because he brings a history of attending the Club which he can share with the kids here and now. He is also mature, which is combined with a youthful exuberance that the kids can enjoy but also learn from. We appreciate his service!
Kirk has done so much for the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach. Besides attending all the Board of Directors and Executive Committee meetings, he comes to the Club monthly to discuss finance reports. He reviews the reports to see what they say about the organization’s financial health, and how to maximize all Club resources to benefit kids the most. Since it is crucial to use every dollar to the fullest, we appreciate his work very much.
An undisputed Big Kahuna for Quarter 3, and for all of 2015, is Milt Naylor. He has gone way beyond the call of duty to take our marketing campaign to higher levels. His contribution to our Annual Drive allowed us to send very high-quality mail-outs to the community. We’ve been able to get the word out about the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach in a big way thanks to him. We appreciate his huge contributions to our marketing efforts. Thanks, Milt!
Members: Richard Platts, Paul Laos, Barry Bates, Debbi Borroel, Chris Bondiek, Edwar Fajardo, Michael Clarson, Francisco Aguilar, Andrew Pirus, John Jamack, Florante Escobar, Meredith Whitt, Helen Harrington, Michael Ford.
The Cox Cares team did a stunning job of enhancing our summer carnival. Half of the group stood in the gym for hours and manned game stations so that the kids could do ring tosses, apple-bobbing, archery, bowling, and other fun activities to win prizes. Others prepared snacks and goodies at the food bar for hundreds of kids. Several more people created a phenomenal STEM-based rocket launching station. They helped kids create aerodynamic rockets out of paper, place the fins and tip correctly, and fire them from the air-powered launcher. This delighted the children very much! Nothing can match the kids’ expressions as the rocket they just hand-made was blasted 40 feet in to the air. Some kids went through the line many times, and built several shapes of rockets to test different designs. We are so grateful to the Cox Cares team for coming out on a hot summer day to make the carnival as fun, exciting, and memorable as possible! If that wasn’t enough, they also made a donation to the Club to support the programs. Thank you, Cox Cares!
Morgan is reliable, trustworthy, and gets the job done. She hails from the state of Georgia, and we couldn’t be more thrilled that she chose the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach to perform her Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Capstone Project. On top of helping with two of our biggest annual fundraiser events, she was also kind to all the staff and community members she encountered. We benefitted from her attention to detail with administrative tasks, silent auction baskets, and other assigned and spontaneous projects. The 300-hour internship seemed to fly by, yet she accomplished many things. We appreciate her efforts a great deal, and wish her all the best in her next endeavor!
Anneke helps with kinders and assists the staff and other kids any way she can. As soon as she stepped into the position of volunteering, she took ownership of the role and found ways to help at every turn. She is understanding of the kids, loving, and really goes wherever she is needed. She came to the Club almost every day this summer, and continued volunteering once per week even when school started. Now she has started a weekly lacrosse club for the kids too! With a bright smile and willingness to do whatever is needed for the kids, she is an amazing volunteer.
When you look at the numbers, Nancy volunteered at the Club for over 100 hours in August alone. She is always willing to take on a special task, such as escorting the kids around Disneyland, volunteering at a fundraiser, running a game station at the Summer Carnival, and helping Old Navy (Laguna Market Place) with their Boys & Girls Club of America fundraiser. When it comes to performance, Nancy always looks around and takes care of anything that needs done, without being asked. She is sweet to the kids, observant, and has a calming presence. She is also friendly and genuinely interested in helping the staff and kids. We can depend on her like an extra staff member, because she holds herself accountable for the kids’ whereabouts and wellbeing. She also travels between our Lake Forest and Canyon branches to help at both places, and it comes in handy that she’s bilingual in Spanish and English. We couldn’t be happier that she joined our team!
Our resident juggling teacher, Tobias is consistent, good with the kids, smiling, and always happy to give juggling lessons. This is a fun skill that can improve the kids’ hand-eye coordination, and at least one kid has taken up the art on his own time now. No matter the class size, Tobias turns up to instruct the kids in 2- and 3-ball patterns until they learn a new trick to show their friends. He has come to special events like our Summer Carnival, and performs very cool tricks in front of the whole group of kids. If you see him, ask to see the 6-ball fountain pattern!
We love to have Summer around because she knows what’s going on, and how to work with the kids. She dives in to any project, and helps without being asked. Her attitude is always positive, nice, helpful, funny, and interactive with the kids. She knows all the precautions to take in activities with the kids, and they’re always excited to see her. We’re so glad she came back to the Club for her California State University, Fullerton internship!
Like her sister Nancy, Jenny always comes to the Club with a great attitude and joins any available activity to engage with the kids. She is bilingual in Spanish and English, and traveled between the Lake Forest and Canyons branches to help at both during the summer. Performing more than 100 hours in August alone, Jenny helped with our Disneyland field trip, Old Navy fundraiser, Summer Carnival, and all the different program areas like games and athletics. She knows how to interact with the kids positively, and shows a constant willingness to help. Thanks Jenny!
Hayden is relatable to the kids, active, and quick to do whatever is asked. It’s clear that he enjoys working with the kids, and for that reason the children have fun too. He’s always paying to attention to what the kids want, and strives to make their Club experience enjoyable. They often run up with a smile to say hi to him. We’re glad to have him with us!
We’re fortunate that Dawne and her job coach, Kim, stumbled upon our Club while exploring the area around Sawdust. They engaged the kids quite skillfully, got them working on their homework in the education room, and entertained them with stories during down time. They challenged the kids to think for themselves, and helped Rick, the education director, do the same with academic activities. Dawne and Kim have big personalities and smiles, so the kids enjoy interacting with them! There’s never a dull moment when they are helping and playing with the kids.
Cassie is hard-working and pleasant to be around. Our two big fall fundraisers benefitted immensely from her creativity and inspiration in building silent auction baskets. They were appealing to the senses and people enjoyed looking over them. Not only that, she attended both fundraisers in person and performed many hours of polite, attentive customer service. We’re thankful she chose the Club to display her marketing skills and put to use everything she’s learned about Communications at California State University, Fullerton.
Alec, a past Youth of the Year, has overjoyed us by returning as a volunteer. With a happy smile and approachable attitude, he comes to the Club to play sports and games with the kids. He also skateboards, much to the kids’ delight! His versatility allows him to serve in many program areas, from the playground to the gym, teen center and games room. He’s diligent, friendly, and willing to help. It’s always a treat when he stops by amidst his busy football schedule!
Bilingual in Japanese and English, Kaipo is a natural at the Club. He integrated with the activities and built rapport with the kids and staff with seeming ease. Especially in the games room, Kaipo’s playful personality fits in well, as does his desire to see the kids engage happily with the structured and free play time. In the teen center, there’s a lot of excitement about his attendance to UC Irvine, allowing him to naturally encourage the middle and high school students to pursue a university-level education. Thanks for taking time from your classes to be a role model for the kids, Kaipo!
Paula has been an inspiring and energetic leader as Board President and Chair of Girls Night Out and the annual Giving Gala. She has generated donations and business partnerships to support the Club and chaired events that brought in over $2 million. She gives her time generously to Club and Gala business, regularly volunteering over 20 hours per week. Paula introduced our Youth of the Year at speaking events and champions expansion of the Spot to give teens a positive place to spend time during their most at-risk time after school.
Paula has worked hard for the Club for over 5 years now, leading many of our biggest events. One big contribution is her service on the Board, where she lends her skills and experiences directing the Club on a big scale. She has attended the Annenburg Alchemy program to increase her abilities, blazed the trail as our first female Board President. She solidifies our community connections through such events as the Community Breakfast, showing appreciation to all the Club’s supporters.
As Paula chair events, leads the Board, and fosters community support, she helps the Club provide a safe haven for children who could otherwise get into trouble.
Her successes contribute to kids’ education, security and hopes for the future. Her role as Club Ambassador aides the Club in growing and serving more kids in need, especially those she is most concerned for who struggle in school. Being so closely tied to our organization’s improvements over the past 5 years, we are pleased to thank her now on behalf of all the staff and kids whose lives she has enriched.
Phyllis attends every event held by the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach, including the annual Giving Gala in May. She has come to every Board meeting and works hard to raise funds, and has participated in workshops to learn more about fundraising. In her efforts to help the Board of Directors embrace stewardship, she makes the Club ever more efficient. We are lucky to have her serve as our current Vice President of Development.
Since 2009 Phyllis has given her time to assist the Club in our mission to develop youth during the most critical, at-risk part of the day after school and during summer. Her unwavering support and expertise in conservation of resources has allowed us to serve the community better more effectively every year. Besides appearing at all Club functions she has also kindly hosted recognition events in her home. She has done a great deal for our Club and all its members and staff, for which we would like to thank her greatly.
Casey painted a big, colorful mural on the entire brick wall at the back of our Playground. She spent over 55 hours over two weeks to perfect each part of the art work. The mural makes the whole Playground more bright, colorful and welcoming. Casey involved the children in designing the image, and interacted with them throughout the entire process, making it even more enjoyable.
The painting was a huge investment of time, effort, care and creativity. It has improved our Club and impressed the members, possibly inspiring them to express themselves through art as well. This directly helps us accomplish our mission of enabling youth to become healthy, happy, creatively expressive adults! Thank you so much Casey.
Jackson has been nominated by four staff members for his remarkable interaction with children. He stepped in to help with programs anywhere he saw a need. The kinder buddies benefited from his mentorship, and he played with the kids in a way they loved. He held their hand while they learned to skateboard, and started games of catch on the playground. If some kids argued he helped smooth things over with humor and a calm attitude.
The staff have many good things to say about Jackson, from his positive attitude to his impeccable manners. Everyone feels he is a good mentor to the kids, and that he made their time at the Club more fun and lively. He was punctual to all his shifts and respectful to the staff. We very much appreciate his skill with engaging the kids and helping them have a great time. Many people noticed his charisma and were happy to see the kids enjoy their time with him.
“See a Need, Fill a Need” is the best way to describe Bridget. She was always ready to help and anticipated what staff may be in need of. She is easygoing and interacting with the children comes naturally to her. She is definitely a puzzle piece that fit well here at the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach and we are sorry to see her go now that her internship is over. However we know wherever she goes they will be lucky to have her!
Gila has volunteered at the Club for five years, coming every week to teach kids how to read. She invests in their futures and feels great job in seeing them succeed. She has given over 65 hours in the first half of 2015, and it shows in our members’ improvements in academics, empathy, and affinity for learning. The ability to read is one of the key elements to child development, so we can’t thank her enough for tutoring that subject. In true mentor form, she also helps members with other subjects when needed. Thank you Gila!
Emily came and helped all the kids do a creative art project at each branch of the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach. She brought many animal magazines and encouraged the children combine the beasts to make their own creatures. She stayed longer than scheduled to allow every grade level to complete the project, and to give highly motivated members extra time to enhance their creations. She did a great job designing and leading the project, and both staff and youth at all the branches appreciate her efforts.
Easygoing, organized, a good problem solver, patient with the kids and takes direction well. He’s always on time, has a positive attitude and is willing to get involved with the kids with the same enthusiasm as if he were asked to check games in and out of the closet. Brenden is a great person who will be successful wherever he goes. He will be missed here as he returns to school for the next year.
Jennifer responded quickly to the need for a volunteer recognition program at the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach and outlined the foundation of our two-tiered program. She brainstormed the nomination qualifications and promptly adjusted the layout according with our feedback. Thanks to her significant design input and research into successful programs at other Clubs, we now have an effective volunteer recognition program.
Reem Khalil and Mary Hurlbut have been coming to Bluebird Park for years to engage in fun, delightful art projects with the kids. They are always on-time, respectful, professional and well-prepared for the bi-weekly projects. The kids love doing art with them because they are knowledgeable and caring towards the kids. With a positive attitude they grab the children’s attention and aide them in thoughtful, inventive artistic expression. Thank you Mary and Reem!
Amanda has helped a great deal over the past several weeks while completing her internship at the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach. She has been caring and involved with all the kids in her area. She assisted staff all over the Club, especially in the gym and education room, and made a big impact on the children who looked to her as a role model. She was creative and made the children feel good about themselves. We want to thank her for the time and effort she put into each day she worked at the Club!
Anna Law comes to the Club every week and donates 4-8 hours taking care of Kinder Buddies. She is punctual, reliable and helpful with Club activities. She is a pleasure to work with and has been volunteering continuously for several years. Her caring and nurturing attitude as she plays with kids is having a long-term positive impact on their growth. We thank Anna for her time and generous efforts!
Landon works really well with the children and follows directions promptly. The kids love that he is fun and relatable. His smiling face and positive attitude have a wonderful impact on the gym area. He is also happy to help around the Club anywhere he is needed, including carrying boxes and doing any other required tasks. We are happy to have him onboard as a great role model for the kids and helper for the staff. Thanks for making the kids smile every time you volunteer, Landon!
Rebekah has done many things for the Club, staff and kids over the course of several months. She assisted programs at both the Canyon and Bluebird branches. Her calm, focused, and kind mannerisms made her an amazing role model for the kids while being a big help to the staff. She aided the development team with the annual Giving Gala and then attended it as well. We asked her to help with special projects like phone calls and computer input and she accomplished them in a professional way.
She went far beyond the call of duty by initiating an 8-week yoga program, which was positive and relaxing for the kids. Several kids looked forward to it greatly every week. At each session Rebecca brought carefully planned new themes, games and activities for the participants. The program was very impressive, effective, and fun for the kids. Thank you so much Rebecca!
Maria Dompas and several members of the Old Navy management team completed two facility upgrade projects by painting a blue border around the chalk wall in our playground and white-washing the garden picket fence. They bought extra brushes and completed the projects with care and attention. We appreciate that they stayed past their planned shift time to complete the garden fence.
The Laguna Market Place store also hosted Camp Old Navy, where teens and tweens got a chance to experience work in a retail environment and gain job skills. They also extended their support to our Summer Brain Gain program, which helps maintain kids’ academic knowledge and performance over summer break. Thank you, Old Navy volunteers!
Five Realty One volunteers visited the Club on May 1st, 2015 and painted a large section of our Playground wall. They spent five hours priming and painting dozens of porous bricks with 7 quarts of chalk paint. They braved some rain and cheerfully painted so that kids could draw on the brick wall. Now the children can express themselves through chalk art! They also offered a $500 grant for supplies and provided delicious lunches for all the staff of the Club.
Deb Sng has been helping the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach with customer and employee opinion surveys. She has devoted between 4-8 hours per week for the last 5 weeks on delivering, receiving, and compiling these surveys so that the Board and leadership of the Boys & Girls Club can assess the quality of service and leadership that the Club has been providing to its parents and employees. We greatly appreciate her dedication of time and effort to helping the Club improve our relationships with the parents of our members. Thank you Deb!
Art has done a ton of pro bono work for the Club, and is a huge resource for all things legal. He uses his attorney knowledge to help the Club, and recently revised the Club bylaws. He has put a lot of effort into getting a place for the teen center as well. He always supports our fundraising events, and gets auction items to help us raise money. He advocates for the Club wherever he goes, and is a fantastic representative of our values and goals. Even though he moved to San Francisco, he still helps the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach, comes to Board meetings, and stays very active in helping our mission.
Darby is helpful, loving, and great at engaging the children. She makes the effort to help in the different areas of the Club, like the games room, teen center, and kindergarten area. In each area, she bonds naturally with the kids and is a person they can look up to and play games with. She also caringly engages kids with special needs as well, being a fun but calming presence. We’re very glad she chose to intern with us!
Michelle Howard first helped us take down winter decorations in January, and has volunteered with the preschool ever since. When the preschool class graduated, she started assisting with the other grade levels during the summer. She introduced her son to the volunteer program as well, and he’s been helping the kids have fun ever since. We appreciate Michelle’s versatility, kindness, and calming presence.
Kylie did a fantastic job as a volunteer dance instructor for nearly a year. Every week she came to the Club prepared with new songs and dance moves, which the girls loved to learn. She took the time to help each child learn the moves, and kept things light and fun. All the staff who worked with her commented about her skill with leading the group. She even organized a dance performance for all the parents to see. We appreciate all her efforts and leadership!
Darcy has been a superb volunteer at the Bluebird Branch, as many staff members have attested to. She knew all the kids’ names, and was very involved with the activities. She never stood around, and often helped multiple groups of kids at the same time. On top of all that, she often cleaned up around the Clubhouse, and was friendly with a good sense of humor. We are happy to have her on our team!
Ryan and Claire work so hard, we are hoping they apply to be staff. They are in-tune with the activities, and always pay attention to how they can positively participate. Responsible and engaged are words that describe them well. We appreciate their attitude of work hard, play hard!
As our Marriage and Family Therapy Intern, Estee made great efforts to provide children with extra attention and care. She used all her training to give kids a chance to express themselves and give voice to their feelings. She provided an invaluable service of bringing families together to benefit the children. When the kids asked to see her, she always made the time to do so. She also helped with some group activities designed to inspire leadership and healthy communication.
We have been very lucky to have Karen on our volunteer team, because she has led the kindergarten and 1st graders in two exciting classes and performances. First she taught them all how to drum in rhythm, and led the group in a fabulous drumming performance in front of many Club members and parents. She brought in her own drum kit so that kids could do a solo in front of their peers, which they really loved. The staff were impressed on how she kept all the kids’ attention throughout the training. Later she led the kids in a performance of the Jungle Book, for which she brought all the “scenery”, costumes and background sets. It gave the kids a chance to perform and polish their acting skills, and really wowed the parents and staff!
As described by the staff, Josh is a wonderful volunteer who works hard to engage the kids in fun activities and conversations. You’ll often see him surrounded by kids who want to join games that he is leading. He is friendly, positive and strongly liked by the children and staff alike. To staff, Josh is respectful and willing to help with any task. It has been a privilege to host him as a fun and lively volunteer who has made the kids’ summer extra special.
Meredith Whitt is an employee of Cox, but she has been a volunteer for the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach recently. She has undertaken the task of sorting through all of our customer and employee feedback surveys. For over a month, Meredith has spent several hours per week compiling the results of the surveys, so that Club staff can assess the quality of service we are providing to kids and parents. This is incredibly important to improving our systems, so we appreciate Meredith’s efforts very much!
Nicholle worked hard to produce many fine graphics for us, including our Jungle Book performance flyer, Dance performance flyer, Gymnastics class flyer, and many more. The designs were always colorful, bright and fun. We appreciate her help in creatively spreading the word about our programs!