I had the opportunity to attend the Boys and Girls Club Auction in Ferndale last Saturday evening. It was an excellent event with the purpose of raising funds to support the clubs on going activities as well as to accumulate funds to build a new building. The building the club had used for many years was the old Ferndale skating rink located at Pioneer Park.
That building had a lot of history. I actually skated there a time or two when I was a kid growing up in Whatcom County. Many years later, I ran a small martial arts club out of that building which by then had become the Ferndale Boys and Girls Club. I was working full time as a Detective for the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office at the time which allowed for me to dedicate a certain number of hours to the club.
Regrettably, I had to revert to offering only private instruction when I was recruited away for a Federal position. What is nice is that some of the people that I trained during those early days are still training with me today. However, the Boys and Girls Club building that we spoke of was struck with a fire that basically destroyed the building. Thus the auction has an even greater purpose.
That being said, the food was phenomenal and the bidders were generous. I’m not positive how much money was generated, but It had to be more than a quarter million dollars. Why do I think this is important? Because the Boys and Girls Club provides an economical service for those kids who get out of school and have a few hours to go before their parents arrive home. What a great thing that is to have a positive place and a safe environment.
I feel very similarly about the opportunity that we provide to youth and families here at Karate Quest. Of course it comes with the added purpose and benefit of learning the martial arts in a safe and positive environment that fosters leadership, integrity, and goal setting. The kids have tons of fun and what they learn may just help them to save their own life or the life of another someday, though we hope they learn to recognize and avoid conflict before it happens.