(AUSTIN) -The Boys and Girls Clubs of America on Thursday (May 1) inducted Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, and nine other honorees into its Alumni Hall of Fame at its annual conference in San Francisco.
“I am grateful to the national Selection Committee for this award and to the Laredo Boys and Girls Club for nominating me,” said Senator Zaffirini, whose parents first took her and her sisters to swim, play ping pong and enjoy family activities at the Laredo Boys Club, which opened in 1946. “What’s more, I am delighted to champion Boys and Girls Clubs because I have seen the meaningful impact they have on our communities.”
There are 372 Boys and Girls Clubs in Texas, and 170 Texas communities have at least one. These clubs serve more than 342,000 children who benefit from trained, caring staff and volunteers who help them take control of their lives, envision productive futures and reach goals.
As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Zaffirini helped secure $6 million in funding over the last four years for the Texas Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs for its Texas Academic Innovation and Mentoring Program (Texas AIM), an academic intervention program that provides multi-layered support to at-risk children. What’s more, in 2008 she worked with the Laredo Boys and Girls Club and the South Texas Food Bank to raise awareness of child hunger.
“We want our children not only to match our achievements, but especially to exceed them,” Senator Zaffirini said. “The critical after-school and summer programs provided by Boys and Girls Clubs help thousands of children achieve their full potential.”
Other 2014 Alumni Hall of Fame honorees included Nick Cannon, California, actor, director, producer, and host of America’s Got Talent; Julian Castro, mayor of San Antonio; Dr. Alexi Filippenko, California, astronomer and member of the 2011 Nobel Prize winning team in physics; Victor Cruz, New Jersey, star New York Giants football player; Chris Doleman, Pennsylvania, football player and member, NFL Hall of Fame; Tony La Russa, Florida, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer; Bill Russell, California, basketball player and winner of 11 NBA championships with the Boston Celtics; Eric Shanks, Indiana, co-president and COO of SFOX Sports Media Group and winner of six Emmy Awards; and Michael Smith, Massachusetts, director of the Social Innovation Fund, a White House initiative and program of the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Tony Award-winning actor and Hall of Fame member Courtney B. Vance was Master of Ceremonies.