Communication is key to Boys & Girls Club success
Marcy Sundine is happy to be back home in Blooming Prairie, accepting the reins as director of the Boys & Girls Club of Blooming Prairie.
The Boys & Girls Club is not new territory to Sundine. She worked with the club through channels at First Lutheran Church of Blooming Prairie when she first lived here several years ago.
Sundine has hit the road running, and has already targeted communication as a goal she plans to accomplish.
Her road map for continued success at the Boys & Girls Club includes a personal commitment. “I want to build on communication between the Blooming Prairie and Rochester Boys & Girls Clubs, between the Boys & Girls Club and the community, between the club and school and between the club and its members,” Sundine says.
After only three weeks on the job, Sundine already knows the names of all club members and she is becoming acquainted with many of the parents.
“I love it,” beams Sundine with enthusiasm in between hugs to her club members, as she talks about her new job and its responsibilities. “I just picked up some paint today,” she explains about her personal project to paint over a purple tree on the wall and replace it with pocket displays for parents. The displays will hold items of communication from the club. including a monthly letter.
“I am just amazed at the support shown the club by the community,” Sundine comments.
It has been a balancing act for Sundine in her new job and with her responsibility of being a parent to three-month-old Henry. Marcy, Henry and her husband, Shawn reside in a home near the Heather Haus in Blooming Prairie. Marcy has maintained ownership of the home while she worked for Ritchie Bros. in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Marcy Sundine (McCamy) grew up on a 45-acre hobby farm near Waltham. She is a 1999 graduate of Hayfield High School. Her parents, Steve and Paula, still reside in the Waltham area.
Marcy obtained a two-year liberal arts degree from Riverland Community College. She then worked in the optical business for several years in Austin, Mason City, Owatonna and the Twin Cities. She worked 2 1/2 years at Main Street Dental before joining Ritchie Bros. of Medford. She lived in Blooming Prairie from 2004-14. Her ties with Ritchie Bros were in New Hampshire the past two years.
The opportunity to return to Blooming Prairie was promoted to Marcy by friends and family who learned of the director vacancy.
“I enjoy children and believe I can make a difference in their lives, so I applied right away,” Marcy says.
The transition to the director position has been smooth for Marcy who was previously involved with Boys & Girls Club of Blooming Prairie through First Lutheran Church. As a deacon of the church, she became familiar with the club’s mission by helping with cleaning, interior painting, finding funding for exterior painting and finishing work on the club parking lot.
It was a suggestion by Marcy to the Rev. Charlie Leonard of First Lutheran to become involved in a local organization rather than sending money miles away.
She said many members of the church have been involved in service to the Boys & Girls Club by supplying cookies, snacks and doing work around the club. “The church members have invested time to show the kids how to cook,” Marcy says.
The kids, ages kindergarten through junior high come to the club between 3-6 p.m. Marcy said, weather permitting, the kids play outside when they arrive to burn off energy. They then come into the club quarters to do homework.
A regimented program to monitor homework is done by the staff at the club: Mondays, math; Tuesdays, spelling; Wednesdays, reading; Thursdays, general homework and Fridays, fun activities. “Always first and foremost, we want to help the kids with their homework,” emphasizes Marcy.
Staff members at the club in addition to Sundine include Louis Jones, Rose Johnson and Elly Magnuson. A half hour before the close of the day, staff supervises a “club scrub,” picking up everything in an organized manner. Judy Richard, custodian at First Lutheran, also cleans the club on a daily basis.
Marcy has been invited to the Blooming Prairie Elementary School by Principal Chris Staloch to meet staff members. She said meeting teachers will help her and staff be more able to meet kids’ needs at the club.
Boys & Girls Club of Blooming Prairie was established in July of 2005. It was founded to provide relevant, life-enhancing programs that promote the academic, social, physical and moral development of kids ages 6-18 in the impact areas of academic success, character and leadership and health and life skills.
More than 500 boys and girls in this community are club members. The club is open five days a week, 12 months a year.
A major project of the club and community was to install a commercial grade kitchen at the club and thus be the source of healthy meals. More than $100,000 was raised by the community to build the kitchen which opened in November of 2014.
More fundraising is under way and will culminate with the Benefit Bash Saturday, Feb. 6 at the servicemen’s Club of Blooming Prairie. Auctions are planned with many prize items featured. All funds raised go directly to youth programs.
A testament to the Boys & Girls Club existence is found in this statement: “We empower all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring community members.”