TROY — It’s a fun and inviting place to get away, kick back and relax, and just be kids — welcome to The Clubhouse.
Both Troy locations of the Clubhouse shared their unique talents of singing, dancing, and even hula-hooping with members of the Troy Senior Citizens this month.
Skyler Rowland and Zoey Gonzalez, both 8, hula-hooped on stage before singing their favorite Miranda Lambert song for the warm and inviting crowd at the senior center.
The duo are members of the Clubhouse both during the school year and in the summer months.
“We get to play games and we get to do fun things,” Rowland said. “Coming here is fun because you get to talk to the senior citizens, showing them our talent, and having fun with them.”
Gonzalez said she enjoys the Clubhouse’s field trips and the variety of new experiences that are offered in the summer like painting and swimming.
“We got to jump rope — it was really fun,” Gonzalez said. “We practiced a lot for this talent show, so this was neat, too.”
The Clubhouse program also offers teen internships to lead the groups of under-served children in their daily activities and to serve as a mentors.
Liah Biller, 18, of Troy, helped her Clubhouse kids prepare for their talent show performance at the senior citizen center on Thursday. Biller started as a volunteer tutor with the program during the school year.
“You’ll see their talents, like today. There’s dancing and singing. When I started, I never would have thought they would get up there and do these things. They are really excited to show everyone,” she said. “Seeing their faces every day and seeing how happy they are to see me — and I am to see them — just the moments and the breakthroughs they have are worth it.”
Biller, a senior at Troy Christian High School, said the program also was a time to share her own love of soccer with the kids.
“I took them to my school at Troy Christian and my soccer team had a soccer camp for them so that was fun — they liked that,” Biller said. “These kids don’t have a whole lot of opportunities to do things, so instead of sitting of home or hanging around the neighborhood, we give them opportunities and activities to benefit them.”
Biller said the teen internship has made her discover more about herself and has started to influence her own career choices.
“I’ve learned a lot from this opportunity that I have been given. I’m thankful for it. I’ve learned so much about patience, flexibility, and just trusting God through all of it,” she said. “I think it has really benefited me, even like formed my future and what I’m going to do. I’ve never thought about teaching before this, but it’s definitely a possibility now.”
The Clubhouse organization has multiple locations serving approximately 300 children in the Miami Valley with two locations in Troy. Dubbed “East” and “West,” the Troy Clubhouse locations are based at St. Patrick Catholic Church and Richard’s Chapel.
The Troy United Way is a proud supporter of the Clubhouse organization’s two locations in Troy. To donate or for more information about this United Way agency, visit www.unitedwayoftroy.com
For more information about the Clubhouse, contact director Cheryl Bender at (937) 667-1069 or visit www.dreambuildersgroup.org