Boys and Girls Club work earns honors
Published 7:38 am Friday, September 26, 2014
PIGEON FORGE — Jason Blevins and Sam LaPorte, members of the board of The Boys and Girls Club of Elizabethton, have won awards at the annual Tennessee Area Council.
Blevins won the Tennessee CARE – Children Are the Reason for Everything – Award for his many years of service and accomplishments for young people of Carter County, while LaPorte walked away with the Tennessee Board Member of the Year honor.
Blevins has long served young people. He has been an active board member of the Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County for eight years and is a former president of the board. His leadership has also helped guide the club through the transition in leadership at the executive director position.
Blevins’ work on behalf of young people extends well beyond the board room. He has coached youth t-ball, youth football and youth basketball for three years impacting the lives of countless young people.
“When Jason comes through the club, he knows the members and the members know him,” said Ginny Wright, executive director.
Wright also noted that Blevins consistently advocates for young people throughout professional and civic endeavors. “He is responsible for a substantial portion of club fundraising. He is also a champion for club staff and makes sure to know the names of full-time and part-time staff. Jason doesn’t mind the less-glamorous jobs. For instance, he recently changed out all the light bulbs in the club gyms. He consistently uses his free time, the little he has, to help the club and kids in any way he can,” Wright said.
LaPorte has been an active part of Elizabethton and Carter County for many years. During his time as Elizabethton mayor, he leveraged resources to establish a new Boys & Girls Club facility on Hudson Drive with strong public and private backing.
Since his return to the Boys & Girls Club Board, he has assisted the club in forming a new connection with the Elizabethton Housing and Development Agency, leading to increased club attendance and strengthening its mission.
“Sam has used his personal and business relationships to tirelessly advocate for the club. His involvement has helped to substantially increase our budget, build a stronger board, and strengthen the reputation of the club in the community. He has helped with key facility improvements, chaired a golf tournament that nearly doubled in net revenue this year, recruited new board members and both contributed and raised a substantial amount of money to the organization,” Wright said.
“He has a true heart for young people and a true heart for this community. When I first began the role of executive director, he came by the club almost every Friday just to check in and see if we needed anything. Our club would not be where it is right now without his support and hard work,” Wright said.