Boys & Girls Club Outback Dinner

Jackie Joyner-Kersee brings message of encouragement to Boys & Girls Club event

Olympic athlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee shared her message of hope and the impact mentors can have on people during the 21st Annual Outback Dinner that raises funds for the Boys and Girls Club of Lubbock.

The Reagor Dykes Auto Group is the primary sponsor of the event. The Outback Boys & Girls Club Dinner helps fund the programs offered at each Lubbock branch, including the Optimist Branch, the Theodore Phea Branch, John W. Wilson Branch and the Shallowater Branch.

Among other recollections, Joyner-Kersee shared her experiences about what the Boys & Girls Club meant to her as a child. From her early childhood days, Joyner-Kersee went on to compete in four consecutive Olympic games. She still holds the record she set in Seoul, South Korea, for the most heptathlon points.

During a visit earlier in the day at the Optimist Boys & Girls Club, she shared advice and encouragement with youngsters.

“You can turn a doubter into a believer as long as you believe,” she said. “Never give up on yourself. Be willing to work hard in life.”

During the school year, the Optimist branch averages about 100 kids between the ages of 6 to 18. That number grows to about 250 during the summer.

Joyner-Kersee has been an advocate for programs similar to the Boys & Girls Club since her retirement. The Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation established community engagement programs in her hometown.

In addition to Joyner-Kersee’s encouraging speech, the event featured a live auction and recognition of the youth of the year at each Boys & Girls Club. 

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