Thursday, December 15, 2011

1st Annual Merry Memphis Christmas Celebration Brings True Joy to the Community

A Collaboration of Compassion in the Community!

The Boys & Girls Clubs 1st Annual Merry Memphis Christmas held on December 8, 2011 was an outstanding success! Boys and Girls Club executive director Tyronne Drakeford happily stated, "We had over 200 kids and parents come out to enjoy the festivities. This event not only brought the community closer together, but it also showed our kids the type of promise and fortitude that they have when they put their minds to it."

Some of the evenings highlights included the children visiting the different fun-filled booths of West Tennessee Therapy Dogs, Amro Music, Nike, Girl Scouts and Animal World. Activities included trimming the tree, being able to play and learn about musical instruments, sports giveaways from the University of Memphis Athletic program, youth creating holiday ornaments, calendar and book gifts, animal posters to take home, and the opportunity to play and interact with the loving, beautiful therapy dogs, "Sammie" and "L.E."

Also included were opportunities to become involved with the Girls Scouts and their respected community work. Another highlight was Mr. Drakeford announced that the 'Clothes Nook' would be initiated. This is where clothes and items that the B & G youth can benefit from will be made available at the club. And it is very exciting that it began with the Merry Memphis Christmas event. Furniture donated to the youth room was another reason to celebrate. And last but not least, the variety of refreshments were tasty and the festive holiday music was appreciated by all!

Mr Drakeford continues, "This is just the beginning of many great things to come from the Boys & Girls Buckman Family Club. We look forward to all of your continued support as we collectively help these youth achieve their goals and become productive citizens in society."

Animal World is honored to have joyfully partnered with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis to start this annual tradition. Animal World president Michelle Buckalew states, "Tradition makes life meaningful and what a wonderful tradition to start with Boys and Girls Clubs. This special celebration sets the stage for more collaboration between our community strengthening organizations not only during the holidays but throughout the year."

Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis and Animal World USA who have partnered together for this amazing event would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the following people and businesses who made this evening possible:

West TN Therapy Dogs, Amro Music, Nike and the Girl Scouts and for their joyful presence at the event.

Special thanks are also in order to the following donations:

-University of Memphis for cool giveaways for the youth
-Tommy & Brenda Carpenter: Beautiful 9-foot Christmas tree
-Debra Jacobson Sparks for the clothings/items to start the B & G Clothes Nook
-Discount Fabrics for the beautiful fabric which adorned the club
-Starbucks for their delicious coffee
-Costco for all the yummy pastries and food
-Kroger for the great variety of cold beverages
-Ashley Buckalew for the holiday crafts and decorations
-Spin Street Records for the wonderful donated holiday CD's
-Memphis Art Supply for their continuing support
-Commercial Appeal for helping to inform the community of this life-changing event

It is the B & G youth indeed that touched our hearts in ways that tranformed our lives forever. The smiles, laughter and joy that they brought to all of that evening will last thoughout our entire lives. The support that they know they have will surely plant seeds in the community that will positively affect generations to come.

If you would like to help the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis, contact executive director Tyronne Drakeford at 901-527-7994.

Thank you from the bottom of our joyful hearts...We love you all!

by Michelle Buckalew, Animal World USA president

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