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Boys & Girls Club honoree Oliver Jones.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County Announces Honorees for 85th Anniversary Celebration

ASBURY PARK, N.J. - JerseyDesk -- The Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County (BGCM/Club) is gearing up to celebrate 85 years of strengthening local youth and to recognize pivotal partners at a benefit to support its charitable mission on Friday, October 13, at the Wave Resort in Long Branch.

The leading youth development organization will honor the city of Asbury Park where it got its start; the city of Long Branch, home to its newest Club; Monmouth Medical Center, a longtime supporter; and Oliver "Ollie" Jones, the longest serving member of its board of directors and a BGCM alumnus.

"Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County is proud of our 85-year legacy of empowering young people to realize their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible adults," said Chief Executive Officer Douglas Eagles. "And we're grateful for our dedicated honorees that have championed our cause to build great futures for our youth."

Proceeds from the annual benefit, "A Most Unusual Evening," will contribute directly to "advancing the Boys & Girls Clubs mission of nurturing promising futures for youth and teens," Eagles said.

For eight decades, the Club has stood as a steadfast support for local youth and their families. It all began in 1938 when the nonprofit first opened its doors in Asbury Park, and it continues to operate there to this day. With a focus on offering a safe and caring space for children and teenagers during crucial out-of-school hours, BGCM has since extended its programs to reach youth in Red Bank, Neptune, and Long Branch.

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In all, more than 1,000 young people, mostly from low-income, single parent households, find nurturing youth development professionals and critical support systems at the Club that are designed to sharpen academics, build resilience, and develop life skills, or as Eagles says, "the tools to empower them to grow and lead healthy lives."

Honoree Jones, who joined the Club in 1952, attributes his career achievements at New Jersey Bell Telephone Company (NJ Bell) to the valuable lessons he learned at the Club where "there was no shortage of activities" for him and his friends.

After graduating from Asbury Park High School, at 19, Jones joined NJ Bell as a janitor, the first African American hired from Monmouth or Ocean counties, and later became the first African American lineman. From 1968 to 1970, he served active duty with the Navy, and then returned to NJ Bell, where he rose through the ranks from lineman to splicer to management, retiring in 1994 as a division manager.

Jones, of Neptune, has served on the Club board of directors for over 40 years and says he hopes the kids "gain as much as I did."

Alongside Jones, BGCM will also extend appreciation to the city of Asbury Park for its unwavering support throughout the years, as well as the numerous partners based in Asbury Park that have played a vital role in enhancing the organization's impact on youth.

The city of Long Branch will receive acknowledgment for its significant part in the opening of the newest BGCM site at the Bucky James Community Center last fall. Monmouth Medical Center, a longtime donor, will also be recognized for its significant contribution to the Long Branch Club, providing essential funding for both the initial establishment and ongoing operational expenses.

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Committee co-chairs of "A Most Unusual Evening" are Sharon Mattingly, of Tinton Falls, and Denise Colford, a resident of West Long Branch. Dubbed the "anti-gala gala" for its unique entertainment, food and drinks, and silent and chance auctions, the event is the organization's most important fundraiser, noted Mattingly. This year's theme is "Dressed to Thrill," and guests are encouraged to come in thrilling attire, Colford said.

The lead sponsors of the fundraiser are Crum & Forster, Starfield Companies, and Nancy Karpf. Tickets are $200 ($250 at the door) and are available along with sponsorships at the organization's website: www.bgcmonmouth.org.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County
Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County (BGCM) does whatever it takes to empower all young people — especially those who need us most — to achieve their full potential. For 85 years, we've been providing safe places, caring mentors, and life-changing programs that help youth thrive. We're the region's leading charitable youth development organization with Club locations in Asbury Park, Long Branch, Neptune, and Red Bank, NJ. Explore our supportive out-of-school-time education, technology, nutritional, and athletic programs that build bright futures at www.bgcmonmouth.org.

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Source: Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County
Filed Under: Event, Education, Non-profit

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