WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP | Ben Glenn grabbed his chalk and started creating a colorful centerpiece on a black bedsheet. The "Chalk Guy" entertained the large crowd during the ninth annual Boys & Girls Club's Steak and Burger dinner at the Porter County Expo Center.
Glenn, who suffers from ADHD and dyslexia, told the audience how he was labeled "special" as a child, and in middle school was called "stupid." He also remembers being called a "throw-away kid."
"I'm 35 years old now, but I still remember one of my teachers telling me to try, and she saw the potential in me," Glenn said. "You have to see challenges as an opportunity."
Glenn told the children they can never give up at anything they do, and he stressed how important it is for the adults to continue doing what they do at the four Boys & Girls Clubs in Portage, South Haven, Valparaiso and Chesterton.
This annual event gives adults in the community a chance to not only dine on hamburgers while the children eat steak, but it gives them a chance to meet and talk with some of the children who are club members.
Tegan Jones, the South Haven club's Youth of the Year, was excited to be part of this annual event.
"This is my fourth year, and I've gotten to meet famous people here," Jones said. "I like the club and like going to the art room, computer room and games room."
Autumn Demarco, age 9 and a Portage club member, was glad to be at the dinner, her first time at the event.
"I like going to the Learning Center and doing the Power Hour at the club. I also am now a junior staff member," Demarco said.