Time, many know, is a precious gift that many say to use wisely. so volunteering your time to help the children of the future seemed more than time well spent by a local man at the Boys and Girls Club in Chicopee.
What started as a weekly business meeting turned into sentimental time for Bert Gardner.
After helping with the architecture and building aspect of the Boys and Girls Club's new gym years ago, being around the kids sparked something new for him.
"I never had a club in the town I grew up in, so I wasn't quite familiar with the Boys and Girls Club. but through that process, I saw a lot and the impact and what they do here, so at the end of the job, the executive director asked if I would join the board. It was easy," Gardner explained.
It was easy for Gardner to commit to a selfless act and continue doing so for almost a decade
"I believe if you say yes, you're agreeing to do something, you have to do it just like it was a career you were doing," Gardner explained.
It's that commitment level that has the Boys and Girls Club of Chicopee more than happy to have Gardner on their team and these children an exceptional role model.
"Bert's been able to spend time in the club with the kids, not just board meetings or coming to a committee meeting and Bert's an architect. He's spent time with our Youth of the Year, who plans on going to college to be an architect, so he's been to connect with members on different levels, but a lot around what he's passionate about, and it's great for kids to be able to find positive role models like Bert that help the kids realize their dreams can become e a reality," said Jason Reed with the Boys and Girls Club.
As a board board member, Reed said that Gardner is the level of volunteer that sets the bar at an all time high.
"Bert's the epitome of what we expect our board members to be. He's an advocate for the organization. He's an ambassador, goes into the community for us and helps make sure the staff can deliver on our mission to help the kids and we do," Reed added.
It's a mission Gardner said he sees carried out by all the volunteers at the club.
The Boys and Girls Club has a staff dedicated to the future success of local kids and it's one staff that Gardner couldn't be happier to support.
"The relationship they have with the people here that work with them and care about them, makes a difference," Gardner explained.
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