11/03/09 — Volunteer earns honor for work at Boys and Girls Club

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Volunteer earns honor for work at Boys and Girls Club

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on November 3, 2009 12:57 PM

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Tom Yarboro, left, an executive with Goldsboro Milling Co., accepts the Robert W. Fowler Pacesetter Award for the Southeast region for contributing to the growth and development of the Boys and Girls Club movement in the Southeast. At right is Lorraine Orr, Boys and Girls Club of America regional vice president/Southeast.

Tom Yarboro, an executive with Goldsboro Milling, has been recognized for contributing to the growth and development of the Boys and Girls Club movement.

The Robert W. Fowler Pacesetter Award is presented annually in the southeast region. Yarboro is the fifth recipient from North Carolina.

He has served on the board of Boys and Girls Club of Wayne County for 20 years, as well as being a club volunteer, past chairman of the N.C. Area Council and a current member of Boys and Girls Clubs of America's National Area Council Committee.

As part of the national committee, he is responsible for N.C., Virginia and Tennessee.

In 2000, he was recognized with the National Medallion, the highest award presented to a board of directors volunteer for "unusually devoted service to boys and girls," said Mary Ann Dudley, executive director of the Wayne County branch.

"Tom has always been behind the scenes locally, statewide and national level of Boys and Girls Clubs, promoting what we do best -- serving children who need us most," she said. "In his own quiet way and 21 years of service to the local clubs, Tom leads with a take-action attitude, with discipline and humility."

Yarboro said he has enjoyed being affiliated with the club and witnessing the relationships built between staff and young people.

"It's clear that this club locally and others that are well-prepared are doing critical work, making a difference in the lives of children and their families who otherwise would not be served," he said. "I feel very good that the time or any resources that I have contributed or helped garner are having the most leveraged impact on resources in this community, certainly by the local club.

"The Boys and Girls Club mission is very unique, it's very targeted, has a great impact and obviously life-long impact for those participants."

With a membership of more than 5 million in the U.S., the Boys and Girls Club has more than 4,000 affiliates, Yarboro said. As part of his role on the National Area Council Committee, which represents the 4,000 independent clubs, he chairs the leadership subcommittee.

"What we're trying to do is help the local clubs have a strong board and make them a stronger and more sustainable club in these tough economic times," he said. "I really do believe the spotlight should be on those who have given their lives, given their careers, to putting their face time and classroom time and other activities into these kids."

On the local level, he added, it has been significant to hear the stories of former club members who have gone on to achieve great things, attributing the Boys and Girls Club with changing the course of their lives.

So while it was wonderful to receive the prestigious award, Yarboro said the credit must also be shared.

"When I was called forward that night, I certainly was honored, but really believe that recognition should be directed more toward (those) in the community that are having direct impact operating and governing the local club and staff who are truly being that special mentor," he said. "The relationships that these young people have with these people every day that they come in after school, that's where the celebration should occur."