Friday, January 30, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Boys and Girls Club director touches many hearts in Vacaville

club director, 2/25/13

Anna Eaton, left, the executive director of the Vacaville Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club, jokes with Kazy Torres, 12, at the Trower Neighborhood Center, Monday afternoon. (Brad Zweerink/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | February 28, 2013 |

VACAVILLE — The young boy was walking on one side of the street. A young girl on the other. They were involved in a shouting match.

“You can choose to ignore her,” Anna Eaton, executive director of the Vacaville Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club, told the boy.

“This is how every fight starts,” he told Eaton, who encouraged him to come into the club.

Within a few minutes, he took her up and spent some time chatting with Eaton. After that, he headed outside to play soccer.

Eaton, who worked for the city of Fairfield for a decade while running its youth theater program, stepped into the executive director spot at the Boys and Girls Club a little more than a month ago. Prior to that, she served as the organization’s director of operations, a post she still holds.

“My biggest challenge is to juggle both roles and get us financially stable,” Eaton said.

Prioritizing is tough, too.

“It’s difficult to determine what’s No. 1 when it all feels like No. 1 to me,” Eaton said.

The Vacaville Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club offers a variety activities to children ages 6-18. Homework help, career exploration and field trips are just a few of them.

Some of the teens recently participated in the Prison Outreach Program at California State Prison, Solano where they spent several hours at the prison and interacted with inmates.

Over spring break, some of the teens will go on a tour of area colleges.

At Christmas, they held a toy drive and then delivered the gifts to the surrounding neighborhood. The community has been very supportive, Eaton said. The toy drive gave the teens a chance to give back to the community.

Eaton credits her parents for an “awesome” childhood, something she wants others to have. She is active with Starbound Theatre, which serves an at-risk population, and has involved some of the Boys and Girls Club youth in productions.

The club has more than 200 members and averages 35 to 45 youth each day. Most of them come from the neighborhood schools.

Located in area of low-income apartments, Eaton said the center offers an alternative to taking the wrong path. And not just among the teens. Some of the 10- to 12-year-olds are at risk, she said.

The results of efforts by Eaton and her staff are often reflected in report cards that show improvements in grades. Once the youth reach a goal, the bar is raised again. They are rewarded for their efforts.

“I get more than I feel I give,” Eaton said of working with youth. “I feel if you’ve got one shot at helping a kid, it has to be a healthy shot.”

Robert Roberts, 18, credits the Boys and Girls Club staff with getting him on the right path and keeping him there. About five years ago, he “followed some wrong footsteps” and looked at the gang life.

Staff member Mur-Ray Colbert set him on the right path, Roberts said.

“Every time I would come here she would get on me (about my choice),” he said.

Eaton has helped him stay on the right path.

“She’s a good person,” Roberts said. “She makes the club fun every day. She brings a smile to the club. I feel like I can talk to her.”

He did that Monday afternoon, relating the story of his uncle who was killed in a recent motorcycle accident. Eaton offered him an understanding ear and sympathy.

Roberts has “adopted” fellow club member Kozy Torres, 12, as a younger sister. She, too, is an Eaton fan.

“Miss Anna is a good person,” Kozy said. “She is someone you can trust and she makes the best of everything.”

Eaton took over the top job at a difficult time, said Susan Schwartz, who volunteers at the club. Schwartz’s original plan was to spend a couple of hours a week there. Instead, she’s there daily and also helps with the club’s garden.

“She was kind of dropped into the situation and she’s handled it perfectly,” Schwartz said of Eaton. “It’s well-deserved and well overdue.”

“This has been the plan for me all along,” said Eaton, the mother of three. “All along I always knew I wanted to work with kids. The rewards are many.”

Her goals for the next year are to continue developing programs at the club, help it be on more sold financial footing and to recruit more board members. She would also like to serve the entire Vacaville community.

The club has some upcoming fundraisers, including a bowl-a-thon March 23 at Stars Recreation Center in Vacaville and a golf tournament in April. For details, call 446-4680.

Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey joined the staff of the Daily Republic in 1980. She’ll tell you she was only 3 at the time. Over the past three decades she’s done a variety of jobs in the newsroom. Today, she covers arts and entertainment and writes for the Living and news pages.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • LindaFebruary 28, 2013 - 10:49 am

    The true heroes! Thank you for your great service and contributions to our children in our communities! I salute you!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Teens earn right to perform with symphony

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

From classical to Queen: Chamber Players are ready

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Photographer has a passion for color

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Solano summit focuses on ways to end poverty

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
Fraud among challenges immigrants face, Fairfield panelists say

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Cadets learn skills for future careers

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
‘Souper Bowl’ coming to Solano County

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4

 
Sports aircraft company CEO recalls effort to locate in Solano

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
SolTrans announces changes to bus routes

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Fairfield police log: Jan. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

California’s snow survey shows far less snow than last month

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Boy Scouts reaches settlement in sex abuse case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Protestors shun sister-city relationship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

City event criticized for Mexican mafia connection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
State to move more than 2,000 inmates

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Tech advances lower chance that driver will die in car crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Killer says his ideas influenced family suicide

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

NASA astronaut memorial stirs memories for shuttle veteran

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
‘Anonymized’ credit card data not so anonymous, study shows

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Poll shows giant gap between what public, scientists think

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Fort Hood gunman Hasan says he wants to keep top lawyer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Attorney General nominee wins GOP endorsements

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Police: Family killed man over child custody dispute

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Simultaneous attacks in Egypt’s Sinai kill 26

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Indonesian investigators: Crashed AirAsia flown by co-pilot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Gas blast at Mexico children’s hospital, at least 2 dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Families plead for lives of IS hostages as swap hopes fade

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Deadly San Francisco blaze spurs look at fire alarms

By T. Burt McNaughton | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 30, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
 
 
.

Living

Today in History: Jan. 30, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My cousin’s 14-year-old son sleeps in the same bed as his grandma

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes: Jan. 30, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Jan. 30 through Feb. 5, 2015

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Jim Parsons to play God in Broadway’s ‘An Act of God’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande to pay tribute to Stevie Wonder

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Review: A tired gimmick weakens thriller ‘Project Almanac’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

‘The Thorn Birds’ author Colleen McCullough dies at age 77

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Hilary Duff, George Lopez help in search for stolen dog

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Justin Bieber apologizes for bad behavior in online video

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Musician Geezer Butler arrested in Death Valley altercation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Lil Wayne sues mentor’s record label for $51M, seeking split

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
 
Bernie Mac widow drops malpractice lawsuit against doctor

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Entertainment Calendar: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Desert stars: Celebs converge on Phoenix for Super Bowl 49

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Serena aims for 19th major in Aussie final vs. Sharapova

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Marshawn Lynch talks about why he doesn’t talk to the media

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Vanden boys pull away from feisty Fairfield 86-66

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B7

Gronkowski and Chancellor make for must-see Super Bowl matchup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
This date in sports history for Jan. 30, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Signups for Friday, Jan. 30, 2015

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
.

Business

Chevrolet polishes its mid-size truck

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Prospect of Chinese cars in US still remain years away

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Senate passes Keystone XL bill, battles loom

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
McDonald’s under siege as new CEO steps in

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Obama seeks spending spike for defense, domestic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11, 1 Comment

 
Who wants a bite of Hershey…jerky?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

.

Obituaries

Dzhon Athanc

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Gloria Elizabeth Neal

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Anthony Neal Hunley

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Joseph Phillip Raiff

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

Frank Z. Perez

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9