On September 18, 2016 Cassandra spoke to the guests of our 6th annual 100 Mile Dinner to share how BGCW has impacted her family.
The Club came into our life 11 years ago at a very critical point and for this I am eternally grateful.
We moved into Manitoba Housing when our rental went up for sale. Recently separated, financially I was drowning, emotionally we were defeated and there were dark secrets hiding in the background.
Just me and my children against the world.
My girls started accessing the Club first... after school activities, Rotary and Girls Night Out were their favourites. Actually the first time I ever spoke with one of my children was for the Club at a Women in Power event hosted by Girls Night Out.
But I know the biggest impact for me was with my son Victor who you all had the privilege of meeting earlier. My middle child but oldest of my 3 boys, he was starving for a consistent, positive male role model. The one thing that no matter what I could not be.
He started to go as soon as he was old enough. For him it was kind of a rite of passage.
His sister was going on a regular basis and always had something good to say about it. For me it was a welcome break from the abundance of energy and ingenious plots this young man could come up with.
He now was also their responsibility.
And they saw in him what I did. Unlimited potential... they started to feed that with opportunities that were otherwise out of our reach. These opportunities to grow and learn supported my efforts at home to raise a caring, responsible, contributing adult.
And he has chosen to make it his goal to provide this to others like himself. We can all hold our heads high with pride for the man that we have helped create. For this I cannot thank you enough.
And this is just our story... there are so many more.
There are several opportunities for us to participate as a family as well, the garden building, the Christmas dinners and the always popular Family Fun Night with Food Bingo.
In Gilbert Park for the first time we had become part of something bigger than just us – this is what community felt like.
And the local Club is an essential part of this community.
The Club works in tandem with the other agencies creating a unified network of services that meet the daily needs of our community members and coordinate in times of crisis.
But none of this work would be possible without the generous support of individuals like yourselves and the passion and dedication of all the staff of the Boys and Girls Club.