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Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area received an Advocate for Youth Award from the national Boys & Girls Clubs of America for their advocacy on behalf of South Carolina’s youth. BGCPDA builds relationships in each of the communities where Clubs are located, Florence, Hartsville, Hemingway, Lake City, Pamplico, and Timmonsville introducing administrators and elected officials to the dedication we share to improving our society by training the next generation with the character and skills to succeed.

Turns out, regular writing and keeping a journal actually has a lot of surprising mental and emotional health benefits. Today, we’re going to check them out.

Despite their age, children can have a powerful impact in the community, if only we encourage them to do so. Here are four reasons kids should start volunteering young.

At the SC Area Council meeting, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area was honored for the 2024 SC Area Council Board Team of Year and the Program of the Year for our Young Explorers. Congratulations!

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area announces its schedules for Good Friday and the week of Spring Break, April 1-5. We have Club members that come from 75 different schools in the Pee Dee Area, and we coordinate with the various school district calendars and stakeholders to develop our holiday hours.

A Boys & Girls Club field trip sparked an interest in aviation in Jill that she, her mom and the Club have since fueled. Now, the 17-year-old has earned her student pilot’s license before her driver’s license and is planning for a future in aeronautical engineering – clearing the runway for more aviators who look like her.

Genesis Majors was named the 2024 Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area Youth of the Year during the annual Steak-N-Burger Dinner on Tuesday, March 5, at First Presbyterian Church. She earned a $4,000 scholarship. Runner-up Taylor Lewis of Hemingway received a $1,000 scholarship.

Dr. Charlton Connor presented Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area with a donation on behalf of his clients that had "No Cavities."

This Women’s History Month, get involved by showing support for the women in your community. Check out these ways you can remember powerful women from history, while advocating for women today.

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area announces its six Club Youth of the Year Representatives. Corporate supporters, club members, and others will gather to congratulate the six individuals during the Annual Steak-N-Burger Dinner on Tuesday, March 5, at First Presbyterian Church in Florence.

In recognition of Black History Month, the Duke Energy Foundation has provided $75,000 in grants to organizations in South Carolina that serve African American communities. This included a $5,000 grant to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area.

There are ways we can challenge ourselves to grow in empathy. If you want to learn more, check out these tips for how to cultivate more empathy for others.

The Post & Courier featured Lake City native and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area board member Carla Angus as one of 12 black leaders to know.

Give yourself and your loved ones the greatest gift this American Heart Month by focusing on making heart-healthy decisions towards a happier and healthier lifestyle.

It can sometimes be difficult to consider how exactly to recognize Black History Month. What can you do? Here are six ideas for honoring Black History Month.

Carraway Turner Leadership Fund helps send Boys & Girls Club members to further their education, be it at college, university, or technical institute.

Executive Director Neal Zimmerman recognized Florence School District 3 Superintendent Dr. Laura Hickson as “integral to the Lake City Club’s success.” Thanks to her involvement, for 10 years, at least 80 kids a day have had four to five weeks of summer transportation, certified teachers, supplies, and equipment at no cost to the kids and a supplement to the Club’s budget.

Through its 25-year partnership with Pee Dee Food Service, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area has filled many hungry bellies. The food program serves 160,500 meals across 13 sites, about 700 each day for 252 days a year. At its peak, the program served 1,600 meals across 28 sites with three to four delivery trucks running.

Self-defeating thoughts can come when we least expect them and tear down our self-esteem and break our spirits. So how can we stand up to them and choose joy instead? Check out these 5 ways!

Chosen by a state and national committee of afterschool and summer learning experts, Mike Woods will be one of 20 accepted into the third cohort of South Carolina Afterschool Leaders Empowered (S.C.A.L.E). In partnership with The Riley Institute at Furman and the SC Department of Education, South Carolina Afterschool Leaders Empowered (S.C.A.L.E) is a 10-month fellowship that prepares individuals across the state to be strong leaders in the field of afterschool and expanded learning.

Positivity is key to creating an altruistic lifestyle in the New Year. If you want to start 2024 off on a high note, check out these tips for living a positive life this year.

After taking the tournament title in 2022, Trinity Collegiate School girls aim for a repeat as they take to the courts at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 28, against Quality Education Academy during the 37th Annual Pepsi Carolina Classic presented by SC Federal Credit Union at West Florence High. Only in its third year, the Carolina Classic Girls Division features four top teams from across North and South Carolina: Lake View, Quality Education Academy out of Winston-Salem, N.C., Trinity Collegiate, and Wilson.

37th Annual Pepsi Carolina Classic Basketball Tournament Day One Results and Day Two Schedule of Games

As we dive into the season of giving this month, let’s explore how the very action of giving can lead to a more altruistic life, improve our mood and even makes us happy.

The Season of Giving program, a partnership among Wake Up Carolina, Pepsi Cola of Florence, Youth Mentors of the Pee Dee (formerly Big Brothers-Big Sisters), and The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee, seeks to assist six families in need this holiday season with your help.

Holiday hours for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area, which varies by site.

Gratitude is about more than taking a second to say “Thanks.” Gratitude shows true appreciation. This Thanksgiving, we have some ideas for how you can give gratitude.

Timmonsville Club Alumnus Danny Damon joins other Florence Darlington Technical College staff and administration to volunteer at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area this week. They cleaned up the exterior, tidying the yard, and interior, mopping floors and cleaning cubbies, at the North Florence location to make the space more welcoming for the 250 kids heading in after school.

Keeping kids engaged and out of trouble is a primary focus at the Lake City Boys and Girls Club, but partnering organizations also want to ensure families don’t have an empty dinner table on Thanksgiving. “When we can go home to our homes and we can go to our covers, we can go to our refrigerators, and we pretty much can pull anything out that we want to pull out,” said the Director of the Lake City Boys and Girls Club Stormey Gillens.

This month looks at the world through the eyes of a child, so today we look at how you can recognize National Child Safety and Protection Month, and keep the children in your life safe.

If you strive to live an altruistic lifestyle, there are lots of ways to help out this Halloween. Here are some top tricks to make Halloween a treat for everyone.

Hope is a better predictor of future success than the ACT, SAT, or a student’s GPA. Hope is a predictor of both long- and short-term success for students. Moreover, a sense of hope is directly linked to the ability to overcome difficulty or trauma, a necessity to continue moving onward and upward. Let’s give the youth of Hartsville HOPE through the Boys & Girls Club.

Being kind to a stranger may seem simple, but it often requires a conscious effort to do. How can you show kindness to strangers in your life? We have 9 ideas to start.

The Judgement Free Generation® is Planet Fitness’s signature initiative aimed at promoting kindness and preventing bullying. Rooted in the company’s goal of creating inclusive cultures, the program strives to combat the judgement and bullying faced by today’s youth by championing trauma-informed programming, which acknowledges and aims to understand the impacts of traumatic experiences and respond in ways that encourage positive growth. Together with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Planet Fitness aims to empower a generation to grow up contributing to a more judgement free planet – a place where everyone feels accepted and like they belong.

Society wrote him off. Single-parent household, African American kid from a dangerous neighborhood. No hope. No future. The Boys & Girls Club staff wouldn’t count him out. The Hartsville Boys & Girls Club reaches more than 400 youth and gives them a safe place to learn and grow; ongoing relationships with caring, adult professionals; life-enhancing programs and character development experiences; and most importantly hope and opportunity. Fifty-seven percent of Club alumni report their Club experience saved their lives.

Florence Chamber announces the 2023 Business Person of the Year.
Kyle Gunter walked to the stage as the 2023 Florence Business Person of the Year to a standing ovation.
It was a shock to Gunter, president of FBi Construction, Inc.
“We try to keep things under wraps, so one of the most fun parts of this is scheming with family members and friends to surprise our Business Person of the Year,” said Amber Tomlinson, a commercial relationship manager with Wells Fargo, who announced the award winner at a luncheon hosted by the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce at the Florence Center.
Tomlinson began by reeling off the winner’s biography. When she mentioned that the winner grew up in Mechanicsville – a small community outside of Florence – Gunter started to get the hint.
“There are only so many people in Mechanicsville,” he said with a laugh.
Gunter grew up surrounded by family. He attended St. John’s High School, where he graduated with honors, and The Citadel, where he graduated with a degree in civil engineering.
After four years in North Carolina, he moved back to Florence to work at the family business, FBi. Nine years ago, he took over as president.
Williamson described Gunter as deeply religious and devoted to his community.
She listed a litany of organizations he had supported over the years – including by being a board member for House of Hope of the Pee Dee, HopeHealth, the Boys and Girls Club, The Eastern Carolina Community Foundation and the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce.
Williamson also said he was a loving father to his wife Beth and to his daughters Riley and Reaves.

On Saturday, the Boys and Girls Club of the Pee Dee hosted a back-to-school reset to empower kids, help them build healthy relationships and hone in on their dreams and goals. The four-hour reset event kicked off with speakers sharing words of encouragement and beneficial advice ahead of the school year.

Duke Energy In Action team volunteered at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area. The Duke Energy Foundation presented the Club with a $10,000 grant for its Young Explorers Program.

While quotes might not directly stimulate our own lives, they play a significant role in encouraging a positive lifestyle. So go ahead, discover inspiration.

This back-to-school season, do more than simply prepare for a new school year—help those in need!

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area will honor our 2023 Champion for Youth Carlos Washington on Tuesday, Sept. 12, at SiMT in Florence. Proceeds from the event help thousands of children grow into productive citizens through afterschool programming focused on academic enrichment, good character, and healthy lifestyles.

The Florence Breakfast Rotary Club brought smiles to 100 kids faces on Saturday as members helped them pick out pairs of shoes for the back-to-school season. The Rotarians raise money throughout the year at social events to fund the program, but Happy Feet wasn’t born in Florence. Across the country, Rotary clubs participate in similar programs to provide “service above self.”

Summer can often feel too short, but with this list of potential activities, you’re sure to fill your days with activities that turn into fond memories.

Setting goals is simple. We’ve all heard different phrases, acronyms and ways to properly set a goal for life. However, accomplishing goals can be a whole different task.

Engineers from Honda brought ATVs to the Florence Boys & Girls Club on Tuesday, July 11. In the last year, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area have added or upgraded STEM labs at all our sites to fuel youths’ interest in science, technology, engineering, and math. That showed as the bleachers of kids peppered them with questions ranging from how fast they could make an ATV to their favorite subjects in school.

Planning an Independence Day party shouldn’t have to be stressful. We’ve compiled a list of everything you need—from food to activities—to throw a bash your friends and family will rave about.

The month of July is full of great things: Independence Day, baseball and… hot dogs. In fact, July is recognized as National Hot Dog Month. That’s right, the little sausage has an entire month dedicated to its celebration.

Juneteenth is a time for reflection, education and most importantly, celebration. By sharing Juneteenth with the young person in your life, you’re educating them on American history, the perseverance and spirit of Black people in this nation and the joy of freedom.

National Director of Youth Development Programs Danielle Morris shares a bunch of INCREDIBLE ideas for marking Juneteenth with all the youth in your program.

Whether they’re familial, romantic or platonic, relationships are vital to beneficial and stable lives. So how can we learn to build positive and enriching relationships? Take a look at these top eight tips for some ideas. 

How can you and your family celebrate June? By trying out some of these easy and delicious options to celebrate National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month.

The Teen Division of the Florence Chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc. donated more than $750 to the Florence Boys & Girls Club. Pictured with Florence Club members and staff member Larry Fortune are Autumn Sanders and TJ Wallace of the Teen Division. The division participates in community service and raises money for various causes throughout the year.

Volunteers assembled 100 bicycles donated by The NASCAR Foundation to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee as part of The NASCAR Foundation’s Speediatrics Fun Day Festival. Volunteers included Assurant Inc., Duke Energy In Action Team, and Stepp’s Race Recovery, an official partner of NASCAR, as well as Boys & Girls Club staff and board members.

Members of the South Carolina General Assembly recognized Justin K. McNair of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area and D’yanna Daniels of the Fort Jackson Children and Youth Services Boys & Girls Clubs were named Traditional Youth of the Year and Military Youth of the Year respectively by the South Carolina Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs. The Alliance includes 97 Boys & Girls Clubs sites in 46 cities and serve 16,591 youth each year.

Harbor Freight Tools Dillon Distribution Center associates built 26 bicycles in a little over two hours for youth at the Pamplico Boys & Girls Club as part of its Harbor Freight Tools Gives Back Program. Excited students and parents lined the sidewalk as staff delivered shiny red, white, and blue bicycles and helmets to the children.

The Kiwanis Club of Hartsville presented the Hartsville Boys & Girls Club with a $1,500 grant on Thursday, April 6, to help fund the Club’s Ron Clark House System Character Education Program.

Spring Break activities start on Good Friday and continue all next week for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area. Here are some highlights of the events.

Murphy USA will hold its fourth year of Great Futures Fueled Here, a roundup campaign to raise funds for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. A portion of local store collections will go to local Clubs.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area Youth of the Year Justin K. McNair has been named to represent the State of South Carolina in the Southeast Regional Event in June.

Florence Rotarians hold fundraiser at Florence Center to support Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area youth purchase new shoes.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area named Justin McNair of Lake City as the Pee Dee Youth of the Year during its annual Steak N Burger Dinner on March 9. The honor came with a $4,000 scholarship from The Carraway Turner Leadership Fund. He will compete in the state event in Greenville on April 1. Runner-up Sydney Morrison of Pamplico earned a $1,000 scholarship from The Carraway Turner Leadership Fund. A seventh grader at Hannah-Pamplico Elementary Middle School, she says the two words that best describe her are encouraging and ambitious. Her personal standard is “to strive for excellence.”

Happenings from the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area, including notes from each of the six sites, Florence, Hartsville, Hemingway, Lake City, Pamplico, and Timmonsville, as well as ongoing and upcoming events.

Find out how you can meet the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Youth of the Year from each Club site and be there for the announcement of the Pee Dee Regional Youth of the Year representative during the Steak N Burger Dinner March 9.

Ladies and gentlemen donned their best attire for an elegant evening of love at a Valentine's Soiree at The Bean Market in Lake City to benefit The Jack & Jill of America Foundation and the Lake City Boys & Girls Club & Youth Technology Center. Attendees enjoyed dinner, dancing, cocktails, and music featuring jazz saxophonist Dante Lewis. A total of $7,000 was donated to the Lake City Boys & Girls Club & Youth Technology Center. Lake City Club Director Stormy Gillens along with Board chair Patricia S. Parr and Board member Carla Angus accepted the donation.

“This isn't your average after school program,” says Brianna Douglas, executive director of The Byerly Foundation. “We really enjoyed spending time with students and staff and learning more about the opportunities and challenges in serving our youth.” The Club serves more than 100 students every day and offers programs in STEM, literacy, health, fitness, and so much more. It provides a safe space for children ages 6-18 with positive, caring adults 252 days a year.

Valentine’s Day can be much more than a holiday to spoil your loved ones. This February 14th, consider spreading the love in altruistic ways. Check out these tips to make your Valentine’s Day one to remember.

Corporate Matching Gift Programs can increase the impact of your donations to charitable causes, such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area. Many large corporations have these programs, often called community relations or social responsibility, to invest in the communities where they are located or they serve. It's popular for employees but also profitable for companies in terms of actual revenue and maintaining staff.

Ross Stores Inc. is partnering with Boys & Girls Clubs of America with a three-week program called Help Local Kids Learn. Beginning February 11, customers in the Florence area can make a monetary contribution at their local Ross Dress for Less (“Ross”) location during checkout to be donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area, through March 5.

The Rick & Susan Goings Boys & Girls Club held its first Youth Brunch Party, hosted by Saferia Cumbee and Tevin Hayward, on Saturday, January 21, at the club, 51 Lewis Road, Hemingway. The party celebrated securing the $100,000 Challenge Grant at the end of 2022.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area have been featured on the January 2023 cover of Diversity Works Magazine. The article discusses the prestigious W. Errol Sewell Award recipient, the Clubs' Executive Director Neal Zimmerman. 

Mr. Richard Harrington and Ms. Ellen Pearson received Frankie Awards - named to honor the late Frank Avent, a longtime supporter of the Clubs - on Tuesday, January 17, 2023, during the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area Board of Directors Annual Meeting at the Floyd Conference Center at MUSC in Florence.

New board members, Chloe Davis, Merrette Dowdell, and Dr. Richard O’Malley, were elected for one-year terms during the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area Board of Directors Annual Meeting January 17.

Taking time to honor Dr. King’s legacy, not just on his birthday but every day, helps inspire young people to build an equitable world where everyone can thrive. At the Club, all youth are empowered to be themselves, share their stories and learn from each other in safe spaces with positive role models. They also demonstrate Dr. King’s leadership by participating in service-learning projects, volunteering and rallying to address critical needs in their communities.

The Lake City Boys & Girls Club & Youth Technology Center sponsored 76 students for Christmas.

FLORENCE, S.C. – The 36th Annual Pepsi Carolina Classic presented by South Carolina Federal Credit Union takes place Tuesday, Dec. 27, through Thursday, Dec. 29, at Wilson High School, 1411 E. Old Marion Highway, Florence, to benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee.

South State Bank Senior Vice President and Boys & Girls Club alum Sedrick McCallum presents a $5,000 donation to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area on Wednesday, Dec. 14, for building and program upgrades to the Rick & Susan Goings Hemingway Club.

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