Letter to the Editor: How do you put a price tag on Mahomet Area Youth Club?

I moved to Mahomet with my three children in the fall of 1989.  As a single working-parent, it was sometimes difficult to support school and sport activities in person.  That also meant that appropriate role models were not always present as well.  I was delighted when the Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club of Champaign sponsored a satellite branch of their club in Mahomet.  The first sign-up meeting was at the pool house in Candlewood Estates.  My son, Karl Mauzy, was thrilled to be their first charter member to register.  He encouraged his friends to register as well.  

Karl loved sports and he played basketball on the Club’s team for several years until he moved from Mahomet in 1998.  He took his games very seriously. . . sometimes too seriously.  Even after moving away, Karl maintained his relationship with the Club staff and the members as well.  

On occasions when my schedule permitted, I had the privilege to volunteer at the club, taking my directions from Trudy Matthews.  I enjoyed watching the relationships being developed between the members and the staff.  There were craft rooms, computer rooms, homework rooms, art rooms, and game rooms for the kids to enjoy.  Some of those privileges had to be earned, which taught them responsibility.  

As the Club transitioned from the Don Moyer Boys & Girls satellite unit to the current Mahomet Area Youth Club, it still continued to serve at-risk youth by providing value based leadership and programs.  I was honored to be invited to serve on the Board of Directors from 2003-2005.  It was clear from the very beginning that the Club’s main objective was to provide a safe, positive, and nurturing environment for the children of the community.

Over the years, the Club became a compass for Karl.  His North always pointed back to the Club when he strayed too far.  Even when we moved from Mahomet in 1998, Karl maintained his connection with the Club and participated in as many activities as he could through the remainder of his high school years.  

He graduated from high school in 2000 and then immediately enlisted in the United States Air Force that summer where he served six years.  It seemed only fitting that his going away party was held at the Club.  Once he completed his basic training and leadership school in San Antonio, TX, Karl was stationed at Malmstrom AFB for the next five years.  It didn’t take him long to seek out the local Boys & Girls Club of America in Great Falls, MT where he volunteered weekly for the duration of his enlistment.  Not only that, but when he came home to visit, his first stop would be the Club to see what was going on and to volunteer while he was home.

Over the past 10 years since returning to Illinois, Karl has maintained his relationship with the Club by volunteering and at times even working for the Club.  He is now the coordinator of volunteers, a role he also held at B&G Club of America in Great Falls, MT.   As a parent, I can say that the Club met its goal in providing a positive impact in Karl’s life.  

The recent move from Franklin Street to their new location at 700 W Main Street in Mahomet has created many new opportunities for the Club to serve the children in the community.  This couldn’t happen without the major investment and support of the MAYC Board, the MAYC Foundation, the many sponsors, businesses, and families in the community.  Thank you!!

-Jeanne Bohlen

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