Creating a safety net for kids

Pres and Patti Askew named Man and Woman of the Year

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Pres and Patti Askew are the founders of the Boys & Girls Club of Craig. The pair were named the Boys & Girls Club 2007 Man & Woman of the Year.

— Pres Askew had a plan.

He was working with fifth- and sixth-graders during school in a Recreation After-school Doorway program - a program he created - when a bigger idea struck him.

"I wanted to try to find something for the kids to do in that two to three hour period after school," Askew said. "The boys and girls of Craig needed a safety net. Something available to compliment other things the kids can do."

His wife Patti Askew backed it.

She said she has always believed if all the children got along, the world would be a better place. She believes helping children is helping the world.

"I believe we all have a responsibility to give back," she proclaimed. "I'm privileged to be in a position to give back to the community."

The duo put their heads together and got results.

On June 14, 2004, the Boys & Girls Club of Craig opened - thanks to the Askews - and for that, they are being named the Boys & Girls Club Man and Woman of the Year at tonight's Cowboy Christmas.

"We always talk about a safe, positive place for our kids," Boys & Girls Club executive director Dana Duran said. "Pres and Patti gave us the opportunity to help. They are amazing people."

"It is a positive rhythm inside the beating hearts of our children," Patti said of the program. "We are very pleased the community has stepped up in honoring us. They are recognizing the Boys & Girls Club is a positive influence on the children of Craig."

Pres said he was pleased to be recognized, but it's not something he was chasing.

"If there was no recognition," he said, "the satisfaction and gratification are enough for us. I am most pleased with the use they are getting out of the building."

Pres points to the 44-percent decrease in the juvenile delinquency rate the year the Boys & Girls Club opened. He mentions the more than $2 million in government funds channeling through the nonprofit organization last year alone.

"We share the building with everyone," Pres said. "It's all no charge. We want to benefit everyone in town, some how, some way."

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