This year’s first Quarterly Meeting was held at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Lakelands in the STARZ 24 Teen Center. After members and guests fellowshipped and enjoyed delicious finger foods and beverages, they convened in an adjoining gathering room replete with a small stage. Edris Louise Robinson, GWC Advisory Board member and Chair of the Programs and Education Committee, offered a warm welcome and convened the program portion. The theme of our program was “Going For The Gold: Academics-Arts-Athletics.”
Pacquitta Coleman introduced a performance by Phoenix Academy of Arts that thrilled and entertained all with a song and dances to the music of Michael Jackson.
Rhonda McGinnis, GWC Advisory Board member and Chair of the Governance and Finance Committee, gave opening remarks.
Jamar “Hoot” Crawford of Next Level Lifestyles was introduced by Mamie Nicholson of our Programs and Education Committee. Mr. Crawford gave a brief background of his program that originally started as a training program with eight athletic players. Next Level Lifestyles has since grown to over 200 members and focuses on nutrition awareness, fitness, mentorship, tutoring, and community involvement. Young men comprise 95% of its members. He began this program in the YMCA but has since relocated to a building on Highway 72/221. With him were two of his mentees that have since become executives in the program: Tyra Murray and Titus Williams. Ms. Murray joined the Next Level program when she was seventeen years old. Mr. Williams, who is now the Executive Director of the program, joined Next Level Lifestyles when he was only twelve years old. Due to COVID restrictions, Mr. Crawford has scaled back the program’s meeting times to three days a week. Thursdays are reserved for SAT and ACT prep for those seeking to attend college. Weekends may include special programs that aim at community involvement, such as Super Bowl Sunday and Valentine’s Day. Members can also attend basketball camp when offered.
Carol Scales (Programs and Education Committee member) introduced the next presenter and host for this venue: Sabrina Miller, Executive Director of The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Lakelands, and GWC member. Ms. Miller gave a history of the Boys and Girls Club program and an overview of the numerous services for students in Greenwood and Saluda Counties. The main goal of the program is to provide a safe haven for students Monday to Friday where they can share dinner like a family and fellowship with other students in the neighborhood. There are often activities for the kids on the weekend as well. The program is open to students of all races in grades six to twelve who reside in the community. She also welcomed volunteers who love children and youth to serve tutoring a school subject or instructing in one of the arts.
Lisa Smith (Programs and Education Committee member) thanked our presenters and stated that Greenwood Women Care will donate three books to Greenwood County Library in their honor: World So Wide by Alison McGhee, Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry, and What If by Samantha Berger.
Laura Stowe, GWC Advisory Board member and Co-Chair of the Communications Committee, reminded everyone that our Annual Meeting will be March 15th and Edris Louise Robinson provided closing remarks.