12/15/04 — Kerr receives award for youth club service

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Kerr receives award for youth club service

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on December 15, 2004 1:59 PM

State Sen. John Kerr of Goldsboro has received a national award for service to the Boys & Girls Club.

Kerr has been a member of the Wayne County club's board of directors for the past 30 years, and on Tuesday, he received the National Boys & Girls Club Medallion.

The medallion is given for "unusually devoted service to boys and girls and exemplary service to the local club." It was presented by Duane Hinshaw, the Wayne club's regional service director.

Kerr said the award was a surprise. The club is important to him. His sons enjoyed their time at the club playing football and basketball, he said.

"It's needed," he said, "because there's been a serious breakdown in the family."

The club has a powerful after-school program, he said. The children need a place to play, and the program at the Goldsboro club needs to be expanded.

"We need to work harder to help the young people," he said. "If we don't get them educated so they can learn values and make good decisions, this country is in trouble."

It's getting more difficult to fund the programs, he said, because of the slow economy. He said he has tried to make sure the state supports the Boys & Girls Clubs.

He praised the local club's director, Mary Ann Dudley. "She is a terrific lady," he said. "She's the best."

Ms. Dudley said Kerr's work behind the scenes in Raleigh has helped all of the clubs in the state, but he has also been active in all of the Wayne club's projects.

"We're fortunate he's on our board," she said. "He advises the local club on legal matters. He truly believes in our mission."

Kerr has served on several of the board's committees. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Lighthouse shelter for battered women, the county Chamber of Commerce and the Goldsboro Rotary Club.

In nominating Kerr, Mrs. Dudley said he has worked hard "plugging, promoting and fighting for state money to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs."

In Mount Olive, Kerr did preliminary work on the new club there.

In the state Senate, he is co-chairman of the Finance Committee and vice chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. He is a member of the Appropriations Human Resources Committee, Commerce Committee, Rural Development Committee and the Senate Redistricting Committee.