Angels support cherubic children at Boys & Girls Clubs dinner

VERO BEACH — A highlight of the annual Angels Help our Kids Take Flight Dinner is a Mock Club, featuring models of the various activities children enjoy at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Indian River County. As guests arrive and pass through the displays, they are greeted by polite, enthusiastic members representing the three area clubs, whose angelic smiles put a face on the need for angelic support.

“We’re getting ready now for the Summer Camps,” said Boys and Girls Clubs Board Chairman Jay McNamara.  “We now have clubs in Vero Beach, Sebastian and Fellsmere, so the numbers are even greater than before.  The purpose of the dinner is to get scholarships for the kids.”

Summer Camps run 12 hours a day for 10 weeks, and will see an increase from 300 participants last year, to about 500 this year.

Passing through the Mock Club, guests were encouraged to challenge members with a Brain Quest game and a spelling game daring them to determine, ‘Are you smarter than a Club member?’

Videos of outings were shown, while in the play area children showed off their Wii skills and in the art room, others rapidly decorated and gave away seashells they had collected at the beach.

“It’s very fun,” said Club member Megan Barry, eagerly explaining the Summer Camp programs at the last exhibit.  “We’re very proud this year because we have a new basketball court. We also like to go kayaking and get very wet.  As you can see from these photos we enjoy our summer club very much.”

The large Sun Aviation Hangar was cheerfully decorated with yellow and white balloons and the warm spring night almost gave it a summer camp feeling.

“The Holman family donates the use of the hanger; they bend over backwards to help us,” said Christina Bordonaro, Marketing/Special Events Associate for the Clubs.

The fundraiser originally began on a much smaller scale and followed the Steak and Stake national model.  Approximately 350 people responded to this year’s invitation, which also drew greater sponsorships than ever before.

“If you think about how far this dinner has come, it’s just amazing,” said long-time supporter Wanda Lincoln.  “We really needed to make it into something people could invest in locally; to feel they were angels for local kids.”

As people filtered to the tables after the cocktail hour, the children sang their signature, “I Have a Dream” song.

“Angels singing about angels,” said McNamara.

Joseph Lindor, a junior at Vero Beach High School and the Indian River County 2011 Youth of the Year, presided as master of ceremonies. He later spoke eloquently of his time with the Boys & Girls Club, where he has served as President of Keystone, the organization’s ultimate teen leadership program.

“The Boys & Girls Club has helped me to stay focused and is leading me to a path of excellence,” said Lindor.  “The club has surrounded me with people that I know are going to be successful and they are my true friends.  And because of their interest in helping bring out the best I can be, I know that I will also be successful.”

Bill and Marlynn Scully were honored as the 2011 Angels of the Year for their continued promotion and support of children’s education and welfare.  The couple was quoted as agreeing, “Every child should have an opportunity to fulfill their dreams.”

Pamela Walton, a nurse in Sebastian, whose son Jacob was selected as the Sebastian Club’s Youth of the Year, thanked the staff for supporting each amazing child’s dreams, and the donors whose contributions make this wonderful resource available.

“You are helping to shape the future of Indian River County, of Florida and of America.  You are all angels in my eyes,” said Walton. {igallery 363}

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