For the children who spend countless hours each week at the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester, the facility is far more than a place for recreation. The club represents family. For some of the club's young charges the club is a rare slice of salvation where they feel safe, valued and respected. Sadly, for some of the youngsters, it is the only place where they are able to find such comfort. Friday afternoon, some of the community heroes who support the Boys and Girls Club stopped by KIMT News 3's Rochester studio to share the reasons for their support. Tom Leimer, the VP of Knutson Construction values the notion of giving back and investing in the future of the Rochester Community.
"If you give back and invest in kids, it'll be a ripple effect throughout the community," Leimer said as he shifted his weight and leaned forward in a high, studio chair. "Because they see it and you hope that that builds and that in the future they give back as well."
Jenny Hosfeld, the chief banking officer at Think Bank shares Leimer's view of giving back to the community. She and her company believe strongly in the mission of the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester.
"Providing a safe environment, a fun environment, one where they're learning. growing and having that opportunity is, it's just incredibly rewarding to be a part of that and help support the success they have," Hosfeld said with a smile.
Such corporate sponsors are critical to the Boys and Girls Club according to the club's CEO, Chad Campbell. Campbell, though, maintains there is much more to the corporate sponsors than corporate responsibility. Campbell maintains the supporters are real people who believe in the mission.
"They're locally owned, locally operated," Campbell said enthusiastically. "So, it's individual people who stand behind those gifts and are the owners of those corporations saying 'this is a mission that we support. This is something we want to get behind.'"
Erin Sexton, the director of enterprise community engagement for Mayo Clinic, recognizes the importance of Mayo's financial support, but says the opportunity for Mayo staffers to serve as volunteers provides its own unique rewards.
"A number of our staff volunteered and read books to kids last year," she said thoughtfully. "And, then they put on a little impromptu play for us which was quite exciting and I'll tell you they are a talented group of kids at the Boys and Girls Club.
There are countless success stories from the Boys and Girls Club locally and nationwide. Perhaps the late Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau summed it up perfectly when he recalled his own childhood being mentored at a Boys and Girls Club. Said Seau, "the Boys and Girls Club taught me a lot about sportsmanship, humility and self-respect."