Santa Paula Times

(Left) Mike Mobley, former B&GCSCV president helped present a Milbank Society Award to club supporter Dorcas Thille at the recent Breakfast of Champions. It was the second time Thille has been honored for her generous support of club programs and activities. (Right) Former B&GCSCV President Mike Mobley (l to r) and Club Executive Director Jan Marholin presented a Milbank Society Award (l to r) to Jenny and Ralph Harrison for their generous support of “The Positive Place for Kids!”

Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Clara Valley honors Milbank Society recipients, recognizes volunteers

October 04, 2013
Santa Paula News

By Peggy Kelly

Santa Paula Times

Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Clara Valley offered thanks to supporters at the annual Breakfast of Champions where recipients of a prestigious national award were honored and volunteers recognized.

The September 18 breakfast - an annual tradition marking the end of the club’s One Campaign - was held at the California Sports & Social Club.

Former Club President Mike Mobley noted that Ralph and Jenny Harrison, Tom and Brianne McGrath and Dorcas Thille were all being honored with the National Boys & Girls Clubs of America Jeremiah Milbank Society Award denoting their generous support of area youth.

Milbank said Mobley, “Was an incredibly generous man,” and “lifelong believer in philanthropy,” whose dedication to those in need resulted in the creation of the then National Foundation of Infantile Paralysis.

That organization became the March of Dimes, just one example of Milbank’s generosity.

Said Mobley, “Milbank gave a fortune to those in need and believed that wealth not used to help others was wealth wasted.... his lifelong concern for others and youth changed lives by the millions.”

Also changing lives are the Harrisons, who supported the club when it needed it the most: Mobley said when he and Club Executive Director Jan Marholin approached Ralph Harrison he initially “Choked on what we asked.... when he said that was a lot of money we told him he could pay quarterly!”

Dorcas Thille, a multiple Milbank honoree, told the crowd she only follows a belief held by her late father: “He said long ago to invest in the community where you live so it’s one you want to live in.”

Although unable to attend the function Tom and Brianne McGrath, also past recipients of the Milbank, received a round of applause and well wishes from audience.

Marholin noted the “Positive Place for Kids” requires “A special support system all the time,” to bring the best to club kids.

Volunteers, she noted, “Are wonderful in giving their time and expertise,” that boosts activities and engages the children.

Marholin lauded Sandra Luizzi, whose dedicated to books and kids has benefited the club library and Janis Farr and Jenny Carr Kinney, who provide children with the unique opportunity of reading books to therapy dogs. 

The combined efforts of the volunteers, said Marholin, have greatly impacted the children’s appreciation of books and reading mastery. 

Shaun Tomson, author of The Code: The Power of “I Will” and the earlier 

Surfer’s Code was the featured speaker at the free breakfast. 

Chamber of Commerce President John Chamberlain was Master of Ceremonies for the multi-faceted celebration that also featured remarks by Youth of the Year Alberto Andrade and Alumni Mike Montoya.  

Milbank (1887-1972) was a club devotee and treasurer of the national organization for more than a quarter of a century whose son followed him into club service, becoming national chairman. According to the Boys & Girls Club of America website, Milbank Sr. “gave of himself generously to Boys & Girls Clubs of America and others. His extraordinary lifelong concern for youth and those less fortunate has changed the lives of millions and is the inspiration for The Jeremiah Milbank Society.”

Society membership is granted to those that contribute at least $10,000 in a single year to a club organization.