Boys & Girls Club Golf Tournament Raises Aspirations for the Future

Boys & Girls Club Golf Tournament Raises Aspirations for the Future

by Susan Neuhalfen

The 10th Annual Boys & Girls Club of North Central Texas Benefit Golf Tournament will be held at the Bridlewood Golf Club in Flower Mound. With a 1:30pm shotgun start, tournament play includes a round of golf, golf cart (shared), goodie bag, lunch, dinner and fun extras.

The tournament is based on a four-person team best ball scramble format, with awards given to each member of the first, second and third place teams. There will also be a first place and second place award for the best ladies team as well as many other prizes. With this being the tenth year of the golf tournament it’s guaranteed to be a day to remember! Best of all, the proceeds go to help at-risk youth that attend the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Texas in Denton, Lake Dallas, Lewisville and Little Elm.

While most would think the funding for Boys & Girls Clubs would come from their national program, the truth is the clubs have to raise all of their own funds. Each charter has to pay dues to the national organization, but when it comes to funding the club, they have to do all the heavy lifting. That’s why Boys & Girls Clubs is so grateful to the people who have helped fund this vital after-school program for so many years.

The Boys & Girls Club is the oldest after school program in existence today. Started in the 1860s, today there are over 4100 clubs and four in the Lake Cities area alone. With so many after school options now, what keeps the Boys & Girls Club still so relevant and so influential in so many communities?

“Our purpose at Boys & Girls Club is a mixture of education, health and character building,” says Rick Troutman, president of Boys & Girls Club of North Central Texas. “We’re teaching these kids how to be better people.“
The after school program at the Boys & Girls Club consists of outside exercise with games and a power hour with volunteers/mentors helping the kids with their homework. They also offer programs that are all different, depending on the age of the child. For example, one course consists of learning to tell time for the younger kids while another program focuses on helping the older kids prepare for adulthood. They also hold summer camps with many of the same programs designed to help the kids build strength and character. Troutman says they are blessed to have UNT and UWC so close by so they are rarely at a loss for great mentors and volunteers.

In working with at-risk youth as the Boys & Girls Club does, Troutman and his crew have found that being proactive is the best route. He says they work with the kids early, before trouble begins, to keep them from going down a not-so-desirable path.

“We have continued to be proactive with the kids,” said Troutman. “We’ve also been fortunate to give them some unique experiences to help them grow.”

One such unique experience to which Troutman is referring is the recent donation of a 3D printer. The kids are having a ball using their imaginations to use the machine. The project which the kids are enjoying most is the creation of 3D prosthetic hands for kids in need. Not only does it test their creativity (and patience, since one hand takes 26 hours to create), the kids are learning to give back.

“Having them come together to make something to help another child in need takes them full circle,” said Troutman. “When the kids can give back it doesn’t get any better.”

For most children who have lost a hand, prosthetics is financially unattainable. It’s just that given their size, their body will grow making the investment not worth it. However, the folks at the Boys & Girls Club make these hands with their 3D printer. It takes a little over a day to make one, but to see the child’s face who gets one is priceless for everyone.

“We started with the teenagers and we’ve made a few hands already” explains Troutman. “The kids are really into it.”

Troutman and the kids also discuss how the prosthetic hands will help a child’s self-esteem—a story to which these kids can relate. Once the hands are made, the Boys & Girls Club reviews the list of applicants who have filled out what they call intake forms and rewards a child with the prosthetic hand. To get an intake (application) form, simply call Boys & Girls Club of North Central Texas.

The prosthetic hands aren’t the the only thing the kids are making. The kids are also creating one of a kind golf bag tags with the 3D printer. They were shown some examples of tags from various golf country clubs and charged to come up with their own design. It is obvious they are enjoying both the challenge of coming up with ideas as well as the creative outlet from which their projects take flight. These golf bag tags will be awarded to the winning team at the golf tournament.

With the mentors from local colleges helping with the 3D software and projects, they hope to develop even more creative things in the future. Troutman is hoping with funds raised this year, they can actually buy another 3D printer to develop more rewarding projects for the kids.

“I would really like to see the kids continue with the 3D printers,” said Troutman. “I keep telling them if you can think it, you can make it! If they can learn that with the printer, they can learn it in life.”

Boys & Girls Club of North Central Texas
10th Annual Benefit Golf Tournament
Thursday, April 28, 2016 1:30 p.m. shotgun start
Bridlewood Golf Club
400 W. Windsor Dr. Flower Mound, TX 75028
register online:

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