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Great Futures Auxiliary Board expanding horizons in Region

Nehki Ferguson, 12, of Gary, stands near his bean plant that STEM students have been growing hydroponically at the John Will Anderson Boys & Girls Club in Gary. The Boeing Co. recently awarded Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana with a $62,000 grant to implement STEM programing at the Gary club site. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana has a new young professional board.

The Great Futures Auxiliary Board was created to provide local professionals an opportunity to individually and collectively use their time, talent and energy to fundraise in support of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana, said Megan Henning, development manager for Boys & Girls Clubs of NWI.

Since January, the board has been hosting a Mission Mingle each month. The group will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday at Catch 22 Bar & Grill, 500 E. 80th Ave., in Merrillville. Mission Mingles are open to the public. 

“We are looking to recruit young professionals who want to give back to their community in a positive way," Henning said. "The board is a fundraising board and a great way to meet new people and share ideas. The end goal is to produce an annual event that raises $50,000 for our clubs. We serve thousands of youth every year and strive to offer them the best programming and after-school experience.”

Being a part of the lives of children is a passion for Katie Kirley, the board's vice-chairwoman.

“It’s a common interest we all share to positively impact the future, starting with the children,” Kirley said. 

Last month’s committee meeting members discussed ideas for additional programming. 

“Sometimes we discover people who want to reach out in a charitable manner, but don’t know where to start," said Kirley. "The Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana is a wonderful place to begin and get involved. Once people are in the clubs, they realize the impact.”

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