Mike and Carol Weeks have been busy the past two decades helping grow and support the Wake County Boys & Girls Clubs’ unit in Zebulon.
The youth organization gave the Zebulon couple a firm pat on the back for their efforts Monday morning, inducting them into its Hall of Fame during the annual Breakfast of Champions event at the Raleigh Convention Center.
The Hall of Fame honors former members, past presidents and longtime supporters of the club. Such recognition was most fitting for the pair who identified a need in Zebulon and saw it through to fulfillment with the establishment of a Boys & Girls Club unit in the town in 1996, according to Wake County Boys & Girls Clubs president Ralph Capps.
“They were two of the first people who talked with our group of volunteers when things got going, so a lot of people consider them the founders of that club, and I think that would be an accurate description,” Capps said. “They are non-stop involved. When you have board members and volunteers that are in for the long haul, it gives an unbelievable amount of stability to your organization.”
The Weekses are the first husband and wife team to be named to the Hall of Fame, which is now composed of 23 individuals and two organizations. They joined Sammy Thompson, a 38-year board member of the county organization, as the three most recent inductees.
“The great thing is the Hall of Fame gives us the opportunity to really recognize those superstars of the Boys & Girls Club movement in Wake County,” Capps said. “The people in it are people who, like Carol and Mike, have been very successful in their community and in their family life and professional life. It’s a great opportunity to recognize some really special people.”
A hand in everything
Mike Weeks doesn’t remember all he’s done for the Zebulon unit, and you really can’t blame him.
He was the original chairman of the unit’s board of directors and kept that title for the next 15 years, but has never quit serving on the board; he’s been on the Zebulon board’s executive committee ever since stepping down as chairman and he served for a time on the Wake Club’s board of directors.
Mike Weeks also served on the county-wide capital campaign committee before the Zebulon unit localized the same campaign and he co-chaired that initiative. And he helped with the committee Carol Weeks served on that ushered in the new clubhouse on Shepard School Road in 2012.
“I was chairman of the Zebulon community relations committee, appointed by Zebulon town commissioners,” Mike Weeks recalls. “When we were trying find some project to work on, it seemed at the forefront was we needed to do something to benefit the youth in the community. I talked to Carol and she knew Ralph Capps and as a result we went and met with the Wake County Boys & Girls Club, and it was three or four months after that we were notified they had received a grant from the U.S. Justice Department and that they wanted to open a club in eastern Wake County.”
Carol Weeks was teaching at Zebulon Middle School at the time and obtained approval for the budding club to occupy the school gym as its first home.
She, too, has always been a unit board member and has for years been secretary on the local club’s executive committee. Carol also chaired the unit’s Black & White Night Gala fundraiser and has stayed involved with other fundraisers since. Most recently, she has volunteered as a team leader for the Read and Feed program, held at the Zebulon club on Mondays during the school year to tutor and feed young club members.
It’s about giving back
Asking Mike and Carol Weeks separately why the they chose to get involved with the Boys & Girls Club turns up nearly identical responses.
Both say the Zebulon community has been good to them, and since they are in position to return the favor, they feel it is their responsibility. Both also believe with conviction that adequate opportunities for children produce better members of society later on.
“We always look for a way to leave the world in a better place that we found it,” Mike Weeks said. “Children are our best asset, so we thought by giving children in this community a safe place to go and provide some assistance to them in doing school work, learning the value of being a good citizen and reinforcing what they are taught in school, we would be leaving the world in a better place than where we found it.”
Carol said the opportunity has been a privilege.
“That club has brought us great joy, and what else is there in life if you can’t share and give back and be happy?” she said.
The recognition at the 13th annual Boys & Girls Club event, in front of a crowd of about 460 people, was a humbling experience, Carol Weeks said. She could hardly get a complete thought out about how it feels to be a Hall of Fame inductee before shifting the conversation back to how the Zebulon club has grown and thrived into the fixture it is in the community today.
“All the good things fell into place,” she said. “There have been a lot of good things along the way that have come together to let us continue to have a Boys & Girls Club in Zebulon. The attendance is increasing, the staff is well trained and the programs are just excellent programs that meet the need of the children that are coming there. We’re just so fortunate to have been able to have had this opportunity.”