Boys & Girls Clubs snag giving award
by DELANEY WALKER Banner Staff Writer
Mar 30, 2014 | 668 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It turns out the third time really is a charm.

First Tennessee announced Friday morning the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland as the third recipient of the 150 Days of Giving awards.

The local youth-focused nonprofit’s win came behind two other Cleveland-based organizations: the Cleveland State Community College Foundation and Junior Achievement of the Ocoee Region.

Executive Director Charles Sutton said he learned of the good news soon after his arrival to work Friday morning.

The $5,000 award will most likely go toward internet safety.

“We are constantly trying to improve in technologies,” Sutton said. “[IT director] Mike Thompson and I had talked. We need to do some improvements in our systems, especially toward having a higher level of filtering.”

First Tennessee Bank is celebrating 150 years in business with $750,000 worth of awards to nonprofits throughout the state. According to the official website, eligible organizations are those the bank has “supported” since 2008. Support has come in the form of either a grant or a matching gift for one of the bank’s employees.

There are almost 1,000 nonprofits in the running for the awards. There are still 13 local organizations entered in the race for the funds: 

n United Way of Bradley County

n Foundation for Cleveland Public Library

n Boy Scouts of America Cherokee Area Council

n Tri-State Exhibition Center

n 100 Black Men of Bradley County

n Lee University

n Cleveland Family YMCA

n Bradley Initiative for Church and Community

n Museum Center at 5ive Points

n Bradley Cleveland Public Education Foundation

n Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland

n Cleveland Bradley Chamber Foundation

n Cleveland Rotary Foundation

Votes can be cast at 150daysofgiving.com. Ten votes can be cast from one device. Voters may only cast one vote per organization on one particular device. Multiple devices can be used throughout the day to increase the number of votes any one person can cast. Devices can range from anything from smartphones and laptops to tablets and computers.

Voting does not require any personal information.

Sutton said 150 Days of Giving is a great opportunity for people to experience the joy of giving.

“We asked people to vote,” he explained. “We just used all of our connections and the connections the staff has. We used social media. We just became very aggressive in using all of our electronic devices.”

Sutton described the awards as a beautiful opportunity for the community.

“First Tennessee really thought through this,” he said. “They are giving money to communities and engaging them at the same time.” 

According to Sutton, several past board members have been employed at First Tennessee. He said the local nonprofit does a good amount of business with the bank. First Tennessee has reportedly been very involved with the Boys and Girls clubs.

Added Sutton, “I just hope we make this a Cleveland thing and that organizations in Cleveland win. I encourage everyone to work together. Let’s see more of the Cleveland community win this thing.”