The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Flint awarded the sixth installment of the Patrick McInnis Community Hero Award to Judge Duncan Beagle this year at their 11th-Annual Suits & Sauce Dinner, sponsored by Fathead LLC. Judge Beagle is an advocate for youth in Genesee County and a supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Flint, and because he lives according to this motto, “We make a living by what we get … but a life by what we give,” he was selected to receive the Community Hero Award.
Children of the Boys & Girls Clubs were present at the Suits & Sauce Dinner, serving as hosts as well as eating a meal alongside their guests. The evening started off with a bang, as members of the steel drums band, who are coached by Jim Coviak, performed for guests with renditions of hit songs that included “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO. Dinner, far from a stuffy affair, was provided by Famous Dave’s Barbeque, and the kids, speakers and guests alike donned red-checked bibs to protect their clothes as they enjoyed finger-lickin’ good ribs and sauce.
After a short video highlighting the need for kids to have places like the Boys & Girls Clubs – safe, structured places to play and be creative – Judge Duncan Beagle received his award. He was introduced by a young man named Willie McQueen. McQueen resides in a wheelchair, as does Judge Beagle, and Beagle took an interest in McQueen and became his mentor, encouraging him to play football despite his disability and to achieve high academic goals. As the judge accepted his award, he encouraged the community to look forward to a bright future. “Things are turning around,” he said of Flint, “and thanks to places like the Boys & Girls Clubs, this will be a great community again.”
As the Boys & Girls Clubs’ biggest fundraiser, proceeds of the Suits & Sauce Dinner support the two Flint Boys & Girls Clubs units as they grow to accommodate even more local kids. Together, the Averill and Haskell Units serve more than 2,000 children each year, enhancing their childhoods with friendship, field trips, good food, a safe space, mentors, academic encouragement and fun. “When we change our communities,” said Executive Director Bob Nelson, “we’ll save our kids.”