BOYS to MEN
A Marquee Fundraiser to Help Support Programming for Boys
THANK YOU SO MUCH for joining us for the 2023 BOYS to MEN event on Thursday, October 5th 6:00 - 8:30 pm at our Historical Lincoln Street Club.
We had an unforgettable evening to hear inspirational stories from our 2023 feature speakers, Carl Cook, Cary Curry, and DG Elmore as they shared their journeys to becoming influential leaders in our community. The program included a panel discussion, dinner, and a live auction!!
With your help, more than $220,000 was raised to support programs at The Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington!
WHAT IS BOYS to MEN PROGRAMMING?
“It is easier to build strong children than repair broken men.” – Fredrick Douglass
A powerful and emotional program that directly impacts young males, BOYS to MEN is a group-focused program between carefully-screened adult men and young males that includes community service, field trips and effective mentoring practices.
Each week, BOYS to MEN mentors show up to offer support to boys through healthy discussions. The group-based approach offers boys a variety of male role models who open up concerning the struggles all men combat. Through these mentoring practices, the boys develop a deeper trust and organically begin to support and mentor each other. It is in this controlled environment that they learn to express and understand how choices and outcomes can impact the lives of themselves and others.
The harsh reality that this program fights is that the number of boys who are growing up without a father or reliable male mentor in their life has now reached epidemic proportions. In fact, fatherless teenage boys have a higher than average risk of participating in crime, dropping out of school, and entering into the prison system before the age of 18. Thanks to BOYS to MEN, thousands of lives across the United States have been positively altered due to this powerful mentoring strategy that empowers teenage boys to grow responsibly.
"Mentoring in BOYS to MEN has changed my life. It gave me a chance to help teens talk and open up in a way I was never able to do as a teen. I think I have benefited as much as the boys."
BOYS to MEN | Adult Mentor
WHAT IS THE BOYS to MEN EVENT?
BOYS to MEN is an annual event where funds to support world-class programming opportunities (like BOYS to MEN) are raised through various avenues including ticket sales, sponsorships, a live auction component and a concluding fund-a-need. This specific event, typically held during the fall, has been a long-standing tradition for the Club since 2012, and is traditionally a sold-out spectacle with nearly 300 people in attendance at the historic Lincoln Street Club – the original home of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington.
During the business-casual event, various community male leaders spearhead a panel-style discussion, which focuses on the importance of positive guidance and mentorship to young men in today’s world. The event also includes a buffet-style dinner with dessert along with fellowship.
Originally billed “Man Up to Make a Difference,” this unique event was initially launched back on May 23, 2012, with guest speakers Steve Zeller and then-Indiana University Director of Athletics, Fred Glass. Since that time, more than 25 others have passionately supported this important fundraiser for the Club. In 2019, the event was re-branded to reflect the updated programmatic messaging of BOYS to MEN’s mentoring program. The Club first initiated BOYS to MEN programming in the Fall of 2019 with carefully chosen teens from the Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corporation – some of which were already Club members – and influential male mentors from the community, including the Club’s Executive Director, Jeff Baldwin.
I don’t know what would have happened to me if I wasn’t taken in, but if I wasn’t mentored and cared for the way the way that I was when I was young – I do know that I wouldn’t be sitting here today. It is my responsibility to now give back and mold tomorrow’s leaders.
Indiana University Head Wrestling Coach + 2019 BOYS to MEN Panelist
PREVIOUS EVENT SPEAKERS & PANELISTS
Dr. Larry Rink