Over 200 youth participated in a recent joyful event at the Andrew Jackson Boys and Girls Club in North Nashville last Friday, October 27. While not a Halloween event per se, there were costumes and candy during the October festive event. And the young participants had fun participating in the Monster Mash Ball competing for Best Costume, styling in the latest fall fashions, sportswear, formal dress and halloween attire.
“The kids look happy and that’s what matters,” said LaQuinta McGhee, director of program services for the Club, a twenty year veteran of Boys and Girls Clubs, with seven at Andrew Jackson.
Hot whiting fish sandwiches, hot dogs, candy, pastries, muffins and cookies were on offer, as were magic tricks and illusions by ‘Frank the Magician’ who also did some nifty card tricks.
“I have seen some amazing costumes, and I have been thrilled by Frank the illusionist,” said Lauren Snelling, who brought her daughter Indigo. “The kids’ minds seem to be blown by Frank’s magical ability — mine, too!”
The Nehemiah Missionary Baptist Church, a community-based church whose congregation worships in the same facility, joined forces with the staff and volunteers of the Boys and Girls Club to put on the Fall Festival and Fashion Show.
“We hold church here, and we’re a community church,” said Nehemiah Church Deacon Rachod Mildton. “Come as you are; we love on one another.” He quoted the church motto:” ‘Love exemplified through action’ and it’s not just a saying; we live that!”
Indeed they do. Mildton was busy cooking dozens and dozens of hot dogs outside in front of the Club, along with Dellenio Bond, who was deep frying delicious whiting fish. Bond is a Boys and Girls Club veteran, who has overseen the recruiting of the current membership of over 200 youth, up from only 40 just a few short years ago.
“It’s very important that we have a collective effort,” said Bond. “We are happy to collaborate with Nehemiah Baptist Church to get this done… working with youth.”
Both men have active careers but give back to the Boys and Girls Club freely. Bond is a partner in the consulting firm, Bond and McClunie, a firm that offers free services to African American businesses (Email: email@example.com).
And Mildton is a USA Boxing amateur boxing official and coach, who has a firm called Ibox, which provides youth development through boxing.
Rev. Thomas E. Hunter, Sr. is pastor of Nehemiah Missionary Baptist Church and he leads the community-based church because while an assistant minister at St. James MBC he saw a need to bring church to the community, and so the church began meeting in the Boys and Girls Club in March of 2016 and has been steadily growing and serving the Andrew Jackson Homes community. Rev. Hunter, a Whites Creek high school graduate, has degrees from Illinois State University and the American Baptist College.
(Reach him at: firstname.lastname@example.org)