Blooming Prairie Boys & Girls Club welcomes new unit director with open house
It’s a new year and the Boys & Girls Club of Blooming Prairie is ready to embrace the future. Part of that future includes new leadership, as Marcy (McCamy) Sundine will soon begin work as new unit director.
“We’re really excited to have Marcy because she’s always shown a lot of enthusiasm for being a part of groups in the community,” said Boys & Girls Club Board member, the Rev. Charlie Leonard. “We think she’ll bring a great energy and attitude to the Club. She loves children, and we’re sure that she’s excited about making a positive impact in the community through the Boys & Girls Club.”
Sundine lived in Blooming Prairie and the surrounding area before moving to New Hampshire, where she worked for Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers. Sundine is ready to embark on a new adventure and she, her husband, Shawn and 3 month-old son, Henry, will soon move back to Blooming Prairie. In past years, she’d been involved with the Blooming Prairie Cancer Group and a member of the First Lutheran Church. While she’ll still support other community organizations upon her return to Blooming Prairie, Sundine says the Boys & Girls Club will be her first priority and main focus.
“I’m looking forward to creating new relationships with all those involved with the Boys & Girls Club and, mainly, just being part of the community again,” Sundine said. Sundine is scheduled to begin her work at the Boys & Girls Club on Jan. 18.
An open house is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 20, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Boys & Girls Club (located at 401 4th St. SE) in Blooming Prairie. There will be refreshments and opportunities for community members to tour the facility. During the event, guests will be able to congratulate Sundine on her new position and wish her well as she begins this new endeavor. Parents will also have a special opportunity to meet Sundine following the open house.
“The past couple years, we’ve been able to upgrade our facilities and now we’re excited to turn a corner with new some leadership and renewed support for the Boys & Girls Club programs,” said Leonard.
Leonard said the position had been open for about two months. During that time, he said the Club’s parent organization, the Boys & Girls Club of Rochester, stepped up to help meet the needs of the Club. “In that interim period, the Boys & Girls Club of Rochester has been very supportive in keeping our facility open and providing leaders to keep the programming going,” he said. “The Rochester Board has also been very supportive helping our local group set some new goals, and they’ve been pretty inspiring to our board, too, to help us see the potential that our Club has for our community.
“The local board is very excited, moving forward into a new year,” Leonard said. “We’ve been reminding ourselves that our vision is to give every child access to a safe, nurturing, educational environment that will positively impact their lives. We feel Boys & Girls Club in Blooming Prairie is well positioned to do this, because we are the only program in the community for youth after school, outside of school activities.”
The Club has also received support from the community. “The businesses in town have been big supporters of the Club, and we thank them for continuing their support,” said Leonard. “Steele County United Way has also continued with its loyal support of the Boys & Girls Club. So, we’re excited to continue those partnerships, too, with our investors in the Club.”
LeMar Nelson, who has been a Boys & Girls Club of Blooming Prairie board member since the local chapter’s inception, said he is proud to be involved with the Club. “I think it’s invaluable to the community,” said Nelson. “Even in our small community, there are a number of kids who would go home and watch TV, play video games or simply wander around on the streets. Even in this community, latchkey children are a reality. To give them some place to go, where they can feel wanted and comfortable, and still go through a lot of learning processes was, I thought, a valuable quality for the community to have.”
Nelson adds that, although the Club has faced challenges in the past, he hopes it will thrive and continue to be a place where children can learn and grow for years to come. “I think the community is getting to know us a little better as a Club that is available and open to kids of all denominations and races.”
Looking ahead, Leonard said that the Club also hopes to continue the strong relationships it has already built. “We’re eager to build upon our partnerships with the local schools and to work more closely with members of the community, and to create an opportunity to help Blooming Prairie become a better community than it already is, by helping youth and families of all backgrounds develop qualities to become responsible citizens and leaders,” he said.
In the new year, Leonard said that the Boys & Girls Club of Blooming Prairie will focus on setting new program goals and increasing its family participation. On Saturday, Feb. 6, beginning at 5 p.m., the first Boys & Girls Club of Blooming Prairie Benefit Bash will also take place at the Blooming Prairie Servicemen’s Club (located at 210 4th St. NE in Blooming Prairie). The event includes both a silent and live auction, and will raise proceeds for the Club. People who would like to make a donation for the event’s silent auction is welcome to bring their contributions to the open house at the Boys & Girls Club on Jan. 20.
There will also be opportunities for community members to get involved and show their support for the Club. “There will be many opportunities to volunteer,” Leonard said. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, contact the Boys & Girls Club of Blooming Prairie at 507-583-6699.