To honor the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica’s recently launched campaign, Back-a-Youth, an inaugural event, Great Futures for Kids Breakfast, was held at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades.
More than 100 guests were in attendance to hear speaker Azim Khamisa share his story. In 1995, Khamisa’s only son was murdered by a 14-year-old partaking in a gang initiation. Khamisa spoke about forgiveness, breaking the cycle of youth violence and how mentoring and other support programs have a lasting positive influence on young people and communities.
“Between 3 and 7 p.m., juvenile crime escalates. By providing positive programming to children during that time, we are working to help break that cycle of violence Azim spoke to,” says Tim Blaylock, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica. “Our programming paves the way for kids to achieve greater futures and protects our community from the costs of juvenile crime and other support-related expenses—at a fraction of those costs incurred by taxpayers. We’re asking the community to come forward to help support children to achieve their potential as caring, self-sufficient adults.”
Guests were asked to consider sponsoring a youth at $1,000, covering the annual program costs. No member is ever turned away for the lack of ability to pay. Funds raised support club programs that help kids in graduating high school and achieving self-sufficiency, along with learning strong character and leadership skills.
Community members can contribute to the Back-a-Youth Campaign or learn more at www.smbgc.org.