TOP PHOTO: Scott County Boys and Girls Club CEO Justin Sharpe was the guest speaker at Tuesday’s South Campbell County Rotary Club luncheon at the LaFollette United Methodist Church.
By Charlotte Underwood
LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Justin Sharpe with the Boys and Girls Club for the Cumberland Plateau was the guest speaker at the South Campbell County Rotary Club luncheon on Tuesday. The Oneida Boys and Girls Club is one of 22 in Tennessee. Rotarian and General Sessions Judge Bill Jones introduced Sharpe as the speaker, saying the Boys and Girls Club was an organization “near and dear to his heart.
“According to Jones, his hope is that a Boys and Girls Club could be established in Campbell County. “Our kids need a place to go to get off the streets,” Jones said.
Sharpe spoke about the Boys and Girls Club in Scott County, how it operates and what it does for the community. He has been the Executive Director of the Scott County Club since 2015. Under his direction, the program has grown, serving around 150 kids each day at the facility. The Club also strives to serve kids in the outlying communities, establishing Boys and Girls Club’s in the schools. Through these additions, the organization serves around 250 youth daily in total.
“It’s all about serving kids and helping kids and providing a safe place for them,” Sharpe said.
We focus on safety first, emotional and physical, we focus on fun and we focus on building caring relationships and giving the kids a sense of belonging; we recognize them for their achievements,” Sharpe said.
The organization provides regular homework help and tutoring. Programs are tailored to each individual community. Other focuses include healthy lifestyles, along with organized sports leagues. The club focuses on out of school time between 3 pm and 7 pm, as well as summer care. In the summer it is open from 7 am to 6 pm.
“We try to make a difference with the kids we serve. Our belief is every child deserves a great future,” Sharpe said. He said there were grants that could be applied for, along with grassroots fundraising and organizing that could help with establishing a club in Campbell County. His suggestion as a first step was creating an advisory board.
Rotary announcements: Rotary Golf Tournament is Sept 21st – Tommy C. Stiner Memorial Golf Outing: There is still time to sign up for a team or hole sponsorship, according to organizers. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/14/2022-6AM)