Carter County Bank’s gift to Boys & Girls Club changes lives

Published 9:46 pm Friday, April 28, 2017

For the second consecutive year, Carter County Bank has stepped up as a Defender of Children for the Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County. This title brings with it a significant financial contribution, but Club staff say that it’s the bank’s partnership that is truly changing lives.

“Carter County Bank is committed to being there for our kids,” said Ginny Wright, Executive Director of the Club. “They support our events. They volunteer. They serve on our board. They are showing our kids that they can achieve great things, and they’re investing their time and their resources into ensuring that they have every opportunity they need to do so.” Carter County Bank has long stood by the Boys & Girls Club.

“Actually, my father and John Wagner’s father served as Board Presidents,” said Andrew McKeehan, Market President for Carter County Bank. “Now with both of us working at the Bank and John serving on the Club’s board, the relationship with the Club is just as important as it was to them years ago.”

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Other bank leadership, including Jim Holmes, former President of Carter County Bank, also served on the Club’s board, and McKeehan said that commitment to serve will continue for years to come.

Being a Defender of Children means the Bank will invest in both of the Club’s special events, but it also means that a portion of their gift will go directly into Club programs. This year that investment goes into SPARK, a physical activity program designed for out-of-school time. SPARK provides planned activities for various age groups with the philosophy to include all youth and instill a love of being active.

According to the Tennessee Department of Education, 41.7 percent of students in Carter County were overweight or obese in the 2015-2016 year. While this is a slight decrease from the previous three years of reporting, the statistic is still higher than Tennessee as a whole and a strong indicator of future health problems for our region.

“If our members are to have healthy futures, they have to be active and healthy today,” Wright explained.

However, getting kids the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day can be difficult when Club members are only at the facility for a few hours after school.

“Running SPARK is a huge asset for us. It’s designed to be fun and get every child involved and moving, and we are so thankful for Carter County Bank providing that opportunity to our kids,” Wright said.

For McKeenan, his connection with the Club is personal.

“You know I grew up involved in the Club, playing sports through all their leagues, and I get a thrill out of seeing kids that go to the Club go on to become community leaders,” McKeehan said. “Maybe they become a Jason Witten, or maybe they just have a better job and a better life than they would have otherwise. If our dollars can go to helping a child have a better shot at life, then really, isn’t that what it’s all about?”

For more information on the Boys & Girls Club or to see how you can become involved, call (423) 543-2946 or visit