The Leslie Boys & Girls Club held its inaugural “Be A Friend – It Just Takes ONE!” breakfast last month.

The Leslie Boys & Girls Club held its inaugural “Be A Friend – It Just Takes ONE!” breakfast last month.

Advisory Board Chair for Eastern Jackson County Bev Leonard welcomed guests, as did Dave Smith, the President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City.

We were honored by the presence of over 150 friends of the club including our guest host Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II, Independence Mayor Don Reimal, Mayor Pro Tem Jim Schultz and many other civic, professional and business leaders in the community.

Mayor Reimal spoke briefly and passionately about making a difference in the life of a child. Congressman Cleaver shared some reflections from his challenging youth experiences growing up in the projects of Dallas, Texas, comparing them to those faced by the at-risk youth served by our Clubs today.

Special guests that morning were our Independence Youth of the Year for our Hawthorne Club, Destiny Delgado, and our Youth of the Year for all five Clubs in Greater KC, Annitra McDonald, who was also chosen Youth of the Year for the state of Missouri – an exciting first for us!

Both spoke briefly about the difference the Boys & Girls Clubs has made in their lives, and Congressman Cleaver presented Annitra with a Congressional Letter of Commendation for her selection as Youth of the Year for the state of Missouri.

The breakfast closed with an invitation to our guests to become a friend of our kids/our Clubs with a financial gift of any amount. At last count, we had almost reached our goal of $5,000 with many pledge cards yet to be returned.