Flint, Mich. – May 10, 2007 – The Boys and Girls Club slogan announces that it’s “the positive place for kids.” With the renovation currently being completed at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Flint by the Detroit Shock, Detroit Pistons and Rock Financial/Quicken Loans, this motto may need to be changed to “the positively cool place for kids.”
On Tuesday, May 15th from 11:00a.m. – 12:15p.m., the WNBA champion Detroit Shock women’s professional basketball team, Rock Financial/Quicken Loans and the Deanna Nolan Foundation will unveil the organization’s 15th Live, Learn and Play Center – the “Rock Financial and Detroit Shock Teen Center” – at the Flint club as part of WNBA Cares and Read to Achieve. Also a part of the grand opening, the mayor’s office will proclaim May 15th as “Detroit Shock Day.” The entire Shock team, including Head Coach Bill Laimbeer and Assistant Coach Rick Mahorn will be in attendance. The club is located at 3701 N. Averill Ave. in Flint.
At the grand opening, members of the Shock including Mahorn, Nolan and Swin Cash will participate in a panel discussion on how area teens can overcome obstacles. Also participating in the panel are two other Flint natives – Rock Financial/Quicken loans President Patrick McInnis and Deanna Nolan’s mother, Virginia Nolan. WNBA legend, Olympic gold medalist and former Shock great Jennifer Azzi will moderate the discussion. Members of Shockwave and team mascot ZAP will also be present to tip-off the grand opening.
The Boys and Girls Club received a completely redesigned and reconstructed teen center including a much-needed paint job, new carpet, wood flooring designed as a Shock/Pistons basketball court, new furniture and resources for college and career training. The teen center also received a new 1000-watt stereo system, a disco ball, strobe lighting, TV and video game decks and a new Pistons pool table as a result of the project. Finally, the club’s full-sized gym received a makeover, including repainting it in the Shock/Pistons team colors: red, white and blue.
Flint Natives Get the Assist
Nolan, the 2006 WNBA Finals MVP, led Flint Northern High School to back-to-back Michigan High School Athletics Association (MHSAA) State Championships in 1994 and 1995, was named Michigan’s Miss Basketball for the 1995 MHSAA season and earned an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Georgia. Nolan is also currently working to raise funds for a new playground at Flint’s Brownell Elementary School.
“Growing up in Flint, I know firsthand that the teens here need this new center,” said Nolan, the Shock’s guard and three-time WNBA All-Star. “The Rock Financial and Detroit Shock Teen Center will be a safe place for teens to hang out, have a good time and know that they have choices in life.”
McInnis also grew up in Flint, where he played on the Flint Powers football team that competed for the state championship in 1984. He played fullback at Eastern Michigan University before joining Rock Financial/Quicken Loans, where he is President and also Chief Learning Officer, overseeing sales training and leadership development for the company’s 4,700 employees. McInnis also is involved with Flint Athletes for Better Education and a frequent speaker at his alma mater.
Both Nolan and McInnis were instrumental in getting the “Rock and Shock” project off the ground, as both understood the magnitude of this project for the city.
“We wanted to get involved with a project that would have a significant and lasting impact on the city of Flint,” said McInnis. “With this renovation project, we are providing resources that are in great need by teens in this community, and we are proud that the Rock Financial and Shock Teen Center will undoubtedly affect the youth of this city in a positive way.”
The unique aspect of this project was the fact that the team commissioned significant construction work at the outset. The club had a loft that was primarily being used as storage in the teen room, but was accessible only through the use of a ladder. Rock Financial and the Shock constructed a new staircase to the loft and designed it as a “café” so youth could have a casual atmosphere to call their own. A newly constructed window in the upstairs café overlooks the gymnasium.
The club also received a new “Teen Resource Room” via the construction that took place in early January. The Resource Room will feature college and career preparatory materials that Flint teens can use as they prepare for life beyond high school.
“It’s amazing that only four years ago, this building was vacant,” said Jamie Gaskin, the club’s executive director. “With broad community support and lots of hard work, we have made this a great place for kids of all ages to hang out. The new Rock Financial and Detroit Shock Teen Center will especially help to strengthen our appeal to area teens. We are amazed by this project.”
The Rock Financial and Detroit Shock Teen Center was made possible by Rock Financial, Air Master, Lennox, Belle Tire, T&C Federal Credit Union, Medical Weight Loss Clinic, Detroit Medical Center, National City and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
About the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Flint
- The Boys & Girls Club offers programs to 1,500 members that include more than 400 teens. The Club’s summer program is the largest single-site summer youth program in Genesee County, with an average daily attendance of more than 200 young people.
- The Club is known as The Positive Place for Kids.
- The Boys & Girls Club charges an annual membership fee of only $10.
- The Club is open until 8:00 p.m. after school to assist with families with parents working later hours.
- Boys & Girls Clubs have been named the number one youth serving non-profit by the Chronicle of Philanthropy for seven consecutive years.
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About Quicken Loans Inc.
Quicken Loans is the nation’s largest online retail mortgage lender and the country’s 11th largest retail lender overall, closing nearly $18 billion in home loans in calendar year 2006. The company employs more than 4,600 people and has been ranked in the “Top 20” of FORTUNE Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work for in America” list for the last four years. For more information, visit www.QuickenLoans.com. To learn about Quicken Loans career opportunities, visit www.QuickenLoansCareers.com.
For information on NBA Pistons & WNBA Shock community programming, please visit www.pistons.com or www.detroitshock.com.