The Rapidian

Amway brings Miss America 2011 to Boys & Girls Clubs

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Amway brings Miss America 2011 to Steil Boys & Girls Club for a fun event full of colorful balloons, shamrocks, and lots of dreams coming true.
Miss America 2011 with Boys & Girls Club Members releasing their "dreams."

Miss America 2011 with Boys & Girls Club Members releasing their "dreams." /Sara Schneider

Underwriting support from:
BGC Club Members write their dreams for the future down to release into the sky.

BGC Club Members write their dreams for the future down to release into the sky. /Sara Schneider

Amway sponsors St. Patrick's Day event including planting shamrocks for good luck.

Amway sponsors St. Patrick's Day event including planting shamrocks for good luck. /Sara Schneider

 

While many people and businesses are feeling the effects of various budget cuts and financial setbacks, community-focused companies such as Amway continue to make a difference where it truly matters.  On March 17th, Amway brought Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan to Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth to show the Club Members that dreams really do come true.

“We thought of the ‘Follow Your Dreams’ event because we knew we would have Miss America in town so that she could get to know her sponsor Amway better,” said Lindsay Pott of Amway. “Miss America is a great example of following dreams and reaching goals, and this year’s winner especially because Teresa won at just 17 years old, so she had the goal of winning very early on.”

Teresa is now excited to pursue law school and a career in politics. She shared her inspiring journey with the Club Members and encouraged them to think about their own dreams and ambitions. 

Everyone gathered in the Steil Club gymnasium and wrote down their biggest dreams on strips of paper filled with seeds. Each dream was then tied to a colorful balloon to be released later in the afternoon.  

“All of their dreams were great,” said Miss America Teresa Scanlan. “One boy said he wanted to be Miss America. I told him to maybe aim for Mr. America.”

Each young dreamer stood in the spotlight for a photograph with Miss America and lots of hugs. The event also included snacks and four-leaf clovers ready to pot and bring home for a bit of good luck in 2011.

The release of over 100 balloons all carrying dreams such as “I want to be a teacher,” and “My dream is to be a professional soccer player,” covered the sky in all sorts of colors and really captured the moment. 

"All of the kids were so excited to release their dreams in the air,” said BGC Admin./Special Events Coordinator Sarah Navis. “We are so fortunate that Amway selected us to be a part of something so memorable."

The balloons were released by Club Members and staff from the new garden Amway helped fund in the summer of 2010. The hope is that Club Members’ dream balloons landed on fresh soil ready to sprout the unimaginable from the seeded paper.

This year’s Youth of the Year winner Cesar Vargas shared what he sent into the sky: “My dream is to make a difference in the lives of others like Boys & Girls Club does,” said Vargas. “Or to become a professional soccer player for Manchester United.” 

Partnerships like the one shared with Amway and Boys & Girls Clubs help to keep Grand Rapids’ youth growing and developing the skills necessary to make their own differences in this community. 

“This was just such a great opportunity for Teresa to meet the kids, and for them to have a chance to meet her, and encourage them to still dream,” said Pott. “I feel like nowadays a lot of kids stop dreaming. They don’t necessary keep that spirit. It was great to see them writing down all their dreams and hear from Miss America that they can push through and overcome anything.”

Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth is looking forward to replanting and harvesting their Amway garden this spring and summer as well as continuing to nourish the growing community collaboration between the two organizations.

Article written by Sara Schneider.

 

 

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