Boys-Girls Club gets $150,000 grant from Maytag to restart teen program

Feb. 03, 2013 @ 03:03 PM

Maytag, known for its appliances, honored the Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains with an award and sizable monetary donation, which the organization will use to bring back its “Reclaim Our Teens” program.

The iconic Maytag Repairman was a little late getting to the Sevierville club Friday afternoon for the presentation of the 2012 Maytag Dependable Club Award of $150,000, which is given annually to 11 clubs across the country.

After slipping into his familiar blue jacket, the “repairman” spoke to the club’s board members and some of its members, telling a little about the award and why they received it.

“You do the things that make you a dependable person, and that’s what we’re looking for in a club,” Clay Jackson, who plays the Maytag Repairman, said to the children gathered in the club’s gymnasium.

The award is given to clubs that are “dependable and reliable,” that have shown they can make an impact in the community, and that have the potential to make more of an impact.

“It’s a very prestigious thing, a very wonderful thing,” Chief Professional Officer Mark Ross said of receiving the award.

Maytag believes that awarding clubs will ensure a maximization of positive impact, “because they’ve shown that they know what to do,” Jackson said.

“We definitely award success, but we award programs that already have shown success so that we can bring them more success,” Jackson said. “This club needed some assistance with their teen program, and that was one of the things that stood out for us.”

The “Reclaim Our Teens” program closed in 2010 due to economic hardships, but the grant will allow the club to restart the program, which seeks to meet teens’ needs on all levels and foster a future of adult success through directed programs.

One of the teen programs meets Friday nights after the club closes, and the club hoped to kick it off that same night.

“That’s one reason we wanted (the Maytag representatives) here today,” said Sue Reller, director of resource development for the club.

Over the last three years, Maytag has awarded over $3 million in grants to Boys & Girls Clubs through the Maytag Dependable Club Award.

rhargett@themountainpress.com