Byron Gallant, Owner of b. Gallant Homes, admits he could “go on and on” about his kids’ amazing experiences at Boys and Girls Club of CVI. Although they are all grown up now, they still speak fondly of the days that began when Byron and his wife Michelle, were looking for daycare some 17 years ago.
“We had other options for daycare, but the other ones would never have been able to provide the opportunities or experiences for our kids. They did things like swimming at the pool, archery, field hockey, ball games, and going to the ice rink, visiting a seniors center”
It wasn’t just the activities that had him hooked. In particular, the learning and bond that his son Nathan gained from his leader, Terry, was particularly meaningful.
“He thought this guy was the world. Terry taught him about healthy boundaries, respect, and learning to communicate.”
“All the kids are all on the same playing field, it doesn’t matter what their background is. At Boys and Girls Club everyone is equal.”
Byron really realized the value of the program when they moved to a different area for a time and tried another program closer to home for their daughter Taylor, “She hated it. They didn’t do anything with the kids.”
Soon enough she was back with the Boys and Girls Club, under the loving care of Linda Janes (featured last month).
“To this day Linda has had such an influence and has become a second mother to so many kids. She has given her heart and soul to those kids.”
Even when Taylor was old enough to stay on her own, they offered her the option to start coming home after school or go to the Boys and Girls Club but she wanted to continue going to Boys and Girls Club.
When the kids graduated from the preschool and after school programs, there was teen activities like Purple Girlzillas and the South Side Teen Centre. After a spa night and a sleepover, Byron would go over in the mornings and make a pancake breakfast for everyone.
Byron considers himself lucky to be able to give back more than pancakes to the organization who has provided his family so much. As a home builder, he has helped with improvements in our facilities. Notably, when the Chase River location needed a major overhaul, Byron called upon his industry colleagues, who offered deep discounts on everything from materials to labour.
“I went to my people and they all stepped up. And it’s no wonder. Boys and Girls Club is extremely important in the community…I can’t think of a more deserving organization. You look at these little souls they are molding, and how that translates into the benefits to their families.”
My kids are older now, and still talk about the amazing experiences they had there.”