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Natasha Ballou and Steve Kelley to be Inducted into BGCL Alumni Hall of Fame

October 12, 2017

Lifelong Lawrence residents Natasha Ballou, vice presi-dent at J.P. Morgan Corporate & Investment Bank, and Steve Kelley, associate director of the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL), will be inducted into the BGCL Alumni Hall of Fame at a reception on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the club located at 136 Water St. in Lawrence.

The Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence established its Hall of Fame, which currently has 69 mem-bers, to honor the personal and professional achievements of some of its notable alumni. This recognition inspires youth members who are striving to make their own mark in the community and beyond.

Ballou joined the club at age 10 when her working parents needed a safe place for her to stay af-ter school. In addition to playing basketball and volleyball, she was an active member of the Keystone Club, a leadership development group for high school students which oversees the club's supper program and performs community service projects. In fact, Ballou credits those ex-periences with developing her entrepreneurial spirit and other best practices that have proven val-uable throughout her career.

A graduate of Central Catholic High School, Ballou received her bachelor's degree in economics with a concentration in finance and minor in philosophy from UMass Amherst. She received her master's degree in finance and control from Harvard University.

Ballou says she is proud to be the second female inductee of the Alumni Hall of Fame.

"I've often looked at the wall of names, and I'm honored that mine will be on it," Ballous said. "The club is such an important place for the youth in our city to stay safe, but also to learn, de-velop and broaden skills. It gave me the opportunity and exposure to try different things, and now I want to use my influence to help younger members find their path. I've always felt that responsibility, but even more so now."

Kelley, who recently celebrated his 51st year as an employee of "Kelley's Club," is a beloved basketball coach and father figure who has an uncanny ability to understand youth members and adjust to their individual needs. He has dedicated his career and life to transforming kids into self-confident, capable, caring adults by instilling the importance of aiming high because hard work pays off.

Kelley, a club kid since age 10, was hired one year after graduating from Central Catholic as an assistant basketball coach and tutor. Beyond his work at the club, he taught sixth grade at Tarbox School and seventh and eighth grade English at Oliver School, both in Lawrence. He went on to graduate from UMass Lowell with a bachelor's degree in sociology and psychology.

Kelley's past honors include the Family Lew Community Impact Award from UMass Lowell, the UMass Lowell Alumni Award for Community Service, Coach of the Year from the National Council of Youth Sports and the Hon. John E. Fenton Citizenship Award from the Ancient Or-der of Hibernians.

Kelley says the club "never shrinks from the tough issues," and as a result, its alumni have be-come judges, teachers, doctors, lawyers, architects, engineers, financial planners, real estate bro-kers and politicians including Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera, Methuen Mayor Stephen Zanni, former Methuen Mayor William Manzi and former Lawrence mayors Michael and Kevin Sulli-van. When not in the gym, he is stopped constantly in the halls by hugs and high-fives.

"I've stayed here so long because of the kids," Kelley said. "They get into your heart and won't let go."

Tickets to the BGCL Annual Meeting and Alumni Hall of Fame reception cost $50, including dinner and a cash bar. For tickets and sponsorship information, contact Special Events Coordina-tor Sarah Hogue at (978) 683-2747, ext. 128 or shogue@lawrencebgc.com. The deadline is No-vember 1.

Did You Know?

86% of the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence’s income comes through donations from individuals, corporations, organiztions, foundations and special events.