Tour of The Boys and Girls Clubs of Redlands, CA
PREPARED REMARKS FOR
STEVE PRESTON, SECRETARY OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
FRIDAY, AUGUST 15, 2008
Thank you. I have enjoyed this tour of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Redlands. I have five children of my own, and I know how important it is for them to have a safe place to play, learn, and grow.
Based on what I�ve seen here today, this really is �The Positive Place for Kids.� I congratulate the Board of Directors, Chief Professional Officer (P.T.) McEwan and Director of Program Services (Mark) Davis for the outstanding programs at Boys and Girls Clubs of Redlands.
I know some of the kids just finished camp and attended �Outer Space Week.� I�m told that this is where they got in touch with their �extraterrestrial selves.� This could immediately qualify them for a career in politics. Frankly, I�m still trying to find my own inner �extraterrestrial.�
It is good to gaze upward and dream. Here, at Boys and Girls Clubs of Redlands, dreams do come true. I am particularly delighted that we could meet at this new clubhouse, built to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Club. This is an impressive facility, a long journey from a packing house on North Sixth Street 41 years ago.
But the journey has been worth it. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Redlands have made a powerful, positive, profound difference in the lives of thousands of children. And your core programs on character and leadership development, and other activities have helped focus and direct the curiosity and energy of children in ways that pay off now and for the rest of their lives.
This is a remarkable enterprise. I want to thank Congressman Jerry Lewis for taking the time to show me around. He has been a steadfast supporter of the Club. And I can sense his pride in your success. I also want to thank former Redlands Mayor Susan Peppler for joining us. I am very pleased she is at HUD. We benefit from her experience and good judgment. And I know she is very proud of this city.
Again, thank you for the tour. I congratulate everyone involved for this wonderful facility.