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‘I love the community we’re in’ | Community profile
Stephanie Davidson took over the position of the Mercer Island Boys & Girls Club director at the end of 2010.
Where are you from originally: I’m from Renton.
How did you get involved with the Boys & Girls Club: I actually graduated from the University of Nevada Las Vegas with a degree in recreation, and I had to do an internship and I wanted to do it back up here since I’m from here. They had an internship open at the Kirkland Boys & Girls Club and so I thought I’d do my internship and then move on with my career. I did my internship and just got really hooked on what the Club was doing and what it meant for the kids. So I ended up staying at the Kirkland Boys & Girls Club for 10 years. Then the opportunity came up over here to be a part of this new club, and just kind of move up in the organization.
How long have you been working at the Mercer Island Club: Five or six months.
What is the best part of your job: The kids. That’s something, I think, that captures it best. It’s kind of crazy, but I was a little worried about not being able to do as much with the kids. A couple of the teams were open and needed coaches still, so I’m going to coach a team. I love the community we’re in — it’s great because there are so many people who are so supportive. They offer a lot of team support and guidance, and help in making a difference for the kids.
How many kids are members: Currently, we have 1,500. That will continue to grow with registration for Little League.
What’s something people don’t realize about your job: You know it’s interesting, I think the biggest one is that people don’t realize just how many kids are in the Club. When they come by in the morning, it’s pretty quiet. But if you come by between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., especially when basketball starts, too, we have so many people in the building — it’s just packed. I think that’s the biggest thing that we get.
Plans for PEAK: Right now, our business breakfast is coming up. Little League is coming up; we just hosted an open house for that and there was a big wrestling tournament that was really exciting. We’re starting an indoor tennis program, which is pretty fun. Our recording studio is actually opening up. That, I know, will be a huge impact on the community. We have a lot of kids asking when that will be ready so they can record their own music. It’s finally complete, so it’s pretty exciting. We had a board member who has been really involved and worked with the different people, just in furnishing the equipment and finishing, so we were actually able to get it a lot more inexpensively.
Financially how are things going: The pledges are all coming in on schedule — we are just like any other business right now, we’re affected by the economy. So it’s something me as a director, and the other clubs, are spending a lot of time on — what we can do to make budget and generate a little bit of revenue so we don’t have to make any cuts.
What are the plans for the old Boys & Girls Club building: The plans are still the same. We still are using the gym and the office area every day, renting it out for basketball training and we use it for our own classes — like my basketball team practices over there. We have games there, too, because believe it or not, we don’t have room for everyone here. Which is amazing, but we do still have things over there. Eventually, half of the old building will be torn down and made into a baseball field.