KAWARTHA LAKES: 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kawartha Lakes and to mark this important occasion, the Club is planning a year of events and activities that will honor the past, build awareness about the present, and build towards the future. Ron Kennedy, who spent a lifetime dedicated to working with disadvantaged and disabled youth, started the Club. Kennedy’s contributions to our community were extensive, including the formation of Kawartha Youth Incorporated in 1970. While Kennedy sadly passed away in 2000, his sister, Lynda Howe, and her family are supporting the Club’s plans for the anniversary celebration. At an event today Board Presidents Catherine Miller (Club Board) and Dianna Scates (Foundation Board), and Executive Director Amy Terrill revealed the key initiatives that will take place this year in celebration of this milestone: an anniversary event in September where alumni and current members, dignitaries and neighbours will be invited to celebrate; the first ever Kawartha Lakes Youth Awards; and a fundraising campaign to invest in the Club’s youth programs. In addition, they announced that the Kawartha Haliburton Children’s Foundation (KHCF) and the Boys & Girls Club have entered into a transfer agreement for the annual Dream Ball, a 25-year tradition. The transition will occur over 5 years, after which time BGCKL will be the sole organizer and beneficiary of the event. “It is truly remarkable how much the Club has accomplished over the last five decades and how many people in our community have benefitted from our programs and services,” says Catherine Miller, President of the Club Board. “Today we serve 8000 children, youth and their families. We know that over the years the club has touched hundreds of thousands of people and we hope many of our alumni, whether they be former members, staff or volunteers will come back to mark this occasion at our anniversary event in September.” The Anniversary Celebration will take place on Saturday, September 12th, 2020. The first Kawartha Lakes Youth Awards will provide an opportunity to create a legacy from the anniversary, bringing critical awareness to some lesser-known programs the club operates that involve youth between the ages of 12 and 24. “With our awards program we will shine a light on some of the youth who have a strong connection to the City of Kawartha Lakes who deserve public recognition for their accomplishments,” says Dianna Scates, President of the Foundation Board. “We encourage everyone in the community to take a few minutes to nominate a deserving young person who has achieved personal success in any of the eight areas.” The awards are: BGCKL Club Spirit Award, Arts Achievement, Entrepreneurship, Green Award, Humanitarian, Leadership, Resiliency and Physical Literacy. Only the Club Spirit award requires nominees to have a direct connection to the Club. Nominations are due on February 28, 2020. Relatives of founder Ron Kennedy have also established a scholarship that will be presented for the first time to one award nominee who is entering post-secondary education or training within the next 12 months. “As a family, we are pleased to support the important work of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kawartha Lakes through the Ron Kennedy Scholarship,” says the Howe family. “Ron, a lifelong resident of Lindsay, worked to support people of all ages and abilities through his work with L’Arche Frontenac, Community Living, Scouts Canada, his church and the Boys & Girls Clubs, among others. Above all, Ron believed in the potential of children and youth. He recognized that many young people needed additional support to achieve success. Where Ron, could not find these supports, he worked with community partners to create them. In this way he positively impacted countless lives in our communities. We are proud of Ron’s legacy and continue to be inspired by the members, staff and supporters of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kawartha Lakes.” “This year is truly expected to be a significant year for the Club as we mark this important milestone,” says Amy Terrill, Executive Director. “The investments we make in 2020 through our fundraising events like the Dream Ball, our 50 for 50 fundraising campaign, our alumni reengagement, and the new Kawartha Lakes Youth Awards will reverberate for many years to come, changing the lives of thousands of children and youth in the future.” The Club is grateful to the City of Kawartha Lakes for support provided through a Milestone Grant which will support some of the Club’s anniversary activities. For more information on the Club’s anniversary, visit bgckl.com/events.