Children, community benefit from presence of Ron Green, family
Posted: Friday, January 6, 2012 8:00 pm
Of course you do.
Unless it’s 2 a.m. in passenger class on a crowded plane somewhere over the Atlantic and somebody else’s kid has been kicking the back of your seat since the last time you saw land.
Or unless it’s late Saturday afternoon in the grocery store and somebody else’s kid is spread-eagle in the cereal aisle, screaming for Cap’n Cocoa-Crispies, while you’re trying to grab a box of Raisin Bran located perilously close to his flying heels.
Or … well, you get the picture. I could name hundreds of scenarios when a specific kid has fallen from his pinnacle on a “lovable” list.
But, in general, we like kids.
We like, too, the warm and happy feeling that someone is doing something good for kids.
We like knowing somebody is elevating standards of behavior and showing genuine concern and setting a good example and planning safe and exciting activities and overseeing otherwise unsupervised hours and keeping an eye on possible problems and helping bind up hurts and encouraging dreams and plans and promoting high ideals and insisting on commitment to education and lofty goals.
We try to do that ourselves.
But the job seems to get bigger every day.
Seven years ago, some of those people who like kids saw the culmination of their hopes and plans for a safe, secure, nurturing, fun place for those children and youth to spend their time become a reality. Ron Green was their ace in the hole.
Green, a former pro baseball player who had left that career path to devote himself to working with children and youth, came to them from Mississippi. In his career in Union City as chief professional officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Tennessee, he has made himself such a part of this community that it’s difficult to believe he has not always been one of us.
He brought with him a lovely wife — Robbie — and two adorable young children — Channing and London — who have grown into adolescence in our schools and community.
He walked into the wing of an empty school with a grand old history and said he could turn it into a place fit for kids again.
And he did.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Tennessee lists more than 1,600 children and youth as current members, and this does not count those who have grown into adults over the past seven years and left behind that connection. The former Miles High School hums with happy activity every week day after school and throughout the day during school breaks and summer vacation. Because of encouragement and opportunity that Green initiated, supported and entered into in a hands-on way, more often than not, children who might not otherwise have had the inclination or the opportunity have become involved in organized sports, in theater, in Scouting, in choral programs and in travel opportunities. He had forged alliances with the local school system to help tutor children who need extra help and has introduced spiritual precepts as the basis for acceptable behavior and self-respect.
Green has served on several community boards and is an active member of Union City Rotary Club, where his trademark bow ties make him a member of the club-within-the-club.
After months of hard work, Green helped open a second club unit of Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Tennessee in Humboldt last August. That club, too, is thriving.
Success does not go unnoticed and Green’s services have been in demand by other clubs across the southeast.
And Green says he and his family feel they must accept the latest opportunity offered in the mountains of North Carolina. They will be leaving this area in less than a month and tackling new challenges.
I will miss the Greens on a purely personal level. They are my neighbors. And while we do not sit on front porches together in this community as we once did, it was a pleasant thing to know they were just down the street — waving in passing and available to lend a hand or seek my family’s help if the need arose.
Ron and Robbie and I have sat in many committee meetings for many different projects together. You want them on your team if you have a goal to accomplish.
Channing and London are among those young people who just make me smile when I see them in public. They always smile back. It’s a simple thing. It means a lot.
I will miss them, too, when I walk down the long hall of “the club” and hear happy and excited young voices who seemed to always be calling for his attention and approval.
I wish them all a wonderful life, even as my heart whispers that I wish they could be spending it here.
I will be happy for them Sunday afternoon from 3-5 at the Eddie Cox Senior Center when the club’s board of directors hosts a reception in their honor.
I hope you will be there to be happy for them, as well.
And I hope if you have supported the club with finances, time or talent in the past that will continue. And if you have not yet made that commitment, you will.
All of you who care about kids.
Mrs. Caudle may be contacted at glendacaudle@ ucmessenger.com. Published in The Messenger 1.6.12