Monday, May 6, 2013

King Eddie gives BA Boys & Girls Club his all

BA volunteer Eddie B. with
Janis Fraley, Club Director

It's impossible to write about The Salvation Army Broken Arrow Boys & Girls Club without writing about Eddie Ballentine. It's also impossible to define his role at the club, because he is a combination of Challenger, volunteer greeter and personal assistant to  club director Janis Fraley. Eddie has been coming to the club for 17 years. His nickname is "King Eddie," and  the club had it painted on a bench for him at the entrance.

When Janis  told Eddie that he was going to be interviewed for a blog post, she said he was really excited. I think he had saved up things he wanted to tell me and although he was nervous, he did very well.

Eddie and his bench in front of the club
Eddie has diverse duties at the club. He’s there at 9 every weekday morning " to pick up things on the copier and take them to Miss Janis to save her a few steps," and stays until 5 p.m. except when he stays until 8 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays. On Monday evenings he participates in club-chartered Boys Scout Troop 995. This year the troop awarded him the "Citizen of the Community" award, Eddie said.

On Tuesday evenings, he participates in Men's Fellowship at the Broken Arrow Corps. When it was his turn to teach a class, he stepped up to the plate. "It was very popular. The men were talking about it for weeks," Captain Mike Lucas, corps officer said.

When the weather is nice and younger club members play in the sandbox, Eddie watches them to make sure they don’t get sand in their eyes. "It burns," he said. Eddie likes to give tours of the club and he also likes showing new members how to get to the pool. His other duties might be described as “pitch in as needed,” which  is not unusual for any volunteer job.

Several times a week, Eddie takes time off from the club to work with a job coach who helps him prepare paper for shredding. Although he likes getting  paid, he told me he likes his volunteer job at the club better. Why?
“I’m needed here,” he said.

That made my day Eddie. You are the King! -Sallie

1 comment:

  1. Eddie is one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. He's always trying to make someone's day a better day.