Familiar Face: White has been constant presence at Boys and Girls Club for 31 years | News

With 31 years of experience volunteering at the Cliff Hagan Boys & Girls Club in Owensboro, Clay White is a familiar face to multiple generations of club members.

“They all know Mr. Clay,” said Steve Winkler, the club’s executive director. “He is kind of an iconic figure with the club.”

Winkler said there are parents — and even grandparents — dropping their kids or grandkids off at the club that recall White from their own childhood days at the club.

An Owensboro native, White was once a member of the Boys & Girls Club.

“I practically grew up at the Boys & Girls Cub,” White said.

White has done a variety of jobs over the years at the club, which relies on its roughly 200 volunteers each year to continue to provide services for the area’s children.

“I pretty much play basketball with them and pool and foosball, and I hand out hand sanitizer when it is time for lunch or snack,” he said.

While change happens rapidly throughout life, the 50-year-old White has been a constant presence at the club for more than three decades.

“I don’t know if I have ever known Clay to miss a day coming to the club,” Winkler said. “He will ride that bus every day, and you will see him walking around town, but he comes to the club every single day.”

Winkler said he believes it is important for the kids attending the Boys & Girls Club to have consistency with their mentors.

White said he enjoys being a positive influence and a role model for the children attending the club.

“It is important to me, because some of the kids don’t have a father figure, and some of them look up to me as a father figure,” he said. “I guess I kind of spoil them too.”

White said he believes it is great that an organization like the Cliff Hagan Boys & Girls Club exists, because it provides a safe place for kids who might not have anywhere else to go.

He is just one of those guys who has been around the facility a long time and enjoys it.

Winkler said the organization has between 22 and 32 part-time employees and six full-time employees, depending on the time of the year, making its volunteers a critical asset.

“We have had a lot of volunteers come through this club since 1967,” he said. “Our volunteers are really the backbone of the organization.”

Winkler said volunteers come from all types of backgrounds.

“We have a lot of basketball coaches and assistant basketball coaches; we have volunteers that will come in and do projects with our kids,” Winkler said. “They will come in and volunteer if we are serving food for a dinner. Some come in and teach them how to play pickleball.”

White said his favorite activities at the club are helping the kids with foosball and pool.

“I am not that great, but it is passable,” White said of his pool game.

White and Winkler have worked together for 22 years, and White said Winker is a great person to work for.

“Mr. Steve is a great boss,” he said. “The one thing I like about Mr. Steve is he is really honest, and he is straight forward. He doesn’t hold back anything, he just tells it like it is.”

White said his best advice for anyone considering volunteering is to stay positive.

“You have to have a positive mind, for one thing, and you have to have the patience,” he said.


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