“The Boys & Girls Club Was My Safe Haven” - New Boys & Girls Club Director Remembers His Early Years PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Mark McLaughlin   
Monday, 28 October 2013 14:47

New Boys & Girls Club Director Remembers His Early Years


IA/IL QUAD-CITIES – After conducting a nationwide search, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Valley (BGCMV) Board of Directors has selected Tim Tolliver as their new Chief Professional Officer (CPO), the title given by Boys & Girls Clubs to their executive directors.

“We welcome Tim to our organization and to the Quad-Cities,” said Chris Johnson, President of the BGCMV Board. “He brings a wealth of applicable skills and experience to the role of Chief Professional Officer.”

“Tim Tolliver has dedicated his career to helping others,” said Tim Stinson, Board Vice President and Search Committee Chair. “We are pleased that he is now a member of our community and we look forward to working with him.”

Community members can meet Tim at the organization’s 2013 Annual Steak & Burger Dinner. “This important fundraiser helps to open the door to a better future for Quad Cities youth and teens,” said Johnson. “The Steak & Burger Dinner offers a fun night of socializing with the many friends of BGCMV, and attendees will meet Tim and have dinner with some of our Club members.”

The fundraising event will be held 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5 at the iWireless Center, 1201 River Dr., Moline, IL. The social hour starts at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the program at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50 each. Individual tickets and tables for groups are available by calling (309) 757-5777.

A Life Shaped by the Boys & Girls Clubs

“Truly, my life has been shaped for the better by my involvement with the Boys & Girls Clubs,” Tim said. “I am happy to say, I was a Club kid as a child and my son was also a Club kid. It’s a great place for young people to learn important values.”

Tim, age 40, was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He attended high school at Cleveland Junior Naval Academy, named after President Grover Cleveland. He attended Missouri Valley College in Marshall, MO, where he majored in Political Science/Public Administration.

According to Tim, he might not have attended college if it weren’t for the encouragement he’d received from the Boys and Girls Club. He started attending what is now the Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club of Greater St. Louis at age 8. “Back then, it was a club for boys,” he said. “Girls became part of the club in 1991, which is the year I graduated from the club.”

Tim stated that he grew up in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in St. Louis. “Gangs were running rampant, since the Los Angeles gangs, the Cripps and the Bloods, were working their way into that area,” he said. “The club was my safe haven. My mom felt a lot better, knowing I was hanging out there. Back then it was a ‘swim and gym’ – other recreations there included pool, foosball and ping pong.”

The big reason Tim kept going to the club, he noted, was because of the positive reinforcement he received. “I had many friends there and the camaraderie kept me coming back,” he said. “I developed strong friendships with the people who worked there, like the social recreation leader, Mr. Bates, and the gym and sports director, Mr. Mitch. Mr. Mitch recruited me to play baseball for their team, and I eventually moved into basketball.”

In those days, Tim observed, the big draw of the club for him was sports, but he also became involved with Keystone Club, the group’s leadership and service club. “The kids who are a part of Keystone help others in the community and learn the value of volunteer service,” he said.

At age 16, Tim was vice president of his club’s Keystone group. “We got to go places and also took part in fundraising,” he said. “A lot of kids didn’t get to leave their neighborhoods very much, so taking part in Keystone Club helped them to see more of what the world had to offer. For many, it was the first time they’d ever left the inner city.”

Dedicated to Serving Others

Over the years, Tim has held key positions of guidance and leadership where he could help the community. Early in his career, from January 1998 to February 2010, he served as the Branch Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Dallas/Collin County in Dallas/McKinney, Texas.

From February 2010 to December 2011, Tim worked as the Associate Services/Shelter Manager for the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance in Dallas. When that position was eliminated due to budget cuts, he became the Chief Executive Officer of the Children’s Advocacy Center in Van Zandt/Kaufman County, Texas. He held that position from May 2012 to February 2013, when a state realignment resulted in an unaccepted transfer offer that did not meet his future plans.

He had been working with the St. Louis Public Schools when he heard about the opening in the Quad-Cities as the CPO of the Boys and Girls Club of the Mississippi Valley. “When I first read about it, I thought the position was located in the state of Mississippi,” he said with a laugh. “I was happy to find out it was much closer than that!”

“The community is invited to come and meet Tim Tolliver at the Steak & Burger event and also enjoy our youth group performances,” said Johnson. “It will be an enjoyable evening, and the funds raised through this event represent an investment in our community’s future and quality of life.”

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Valley, as a chartered member of Boys and Girls Clubs of America, is a tax-exempt organization, duly qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and contributions are tax-deductible in accordance with Federal law.

For more information on the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Valley, please call (309) 757-5777 or visit www.bgcmv.org.

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