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Registration Open for Third Annual BGCL Take Action Walkathon on October 16

September 13, 2016

At 6 years old, Michael Santana couldn't be convinced to wait the additional year to become eligible to join the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL). Taking matters into his own hands, he exaggerated his age just enough in order to register.

"All my brothers and cousins, and all our friends, went there," recalled Santana, now a Realtor and the broker owner and managing partner of Coco, Early & Associates of Lawrence. "My favorite things were the wrestling room and swimming pool, going on field trips, and playing pool and foosball in the games room while watching ‘Creature Double Feature' on Saturdays. I learned basketball there. I learned everything there. It was fun."

To give back to the club which taught him so many life and business skills, Santana is leading a team of real estate agents from his office in the third annual BGCL Take Action Walkathon on Sunday, Oct. 16 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The two-mile walk along the Merrimack River will begin and end at BGCL, located at 136 Water St. in Lawrence, with live music, face-painting, games, and other family activities.

The event has raised more than $20,000 since its inception. Proceeds support more than 3,800 youth members who depend on the club for supper each night, homework help, fitness and nutrition programs, college and career planning, and lasting personal relationships with caring volunteers and staff members.

In fact, Santana recalls benefiting from the influence of one such person: Associate Director Steve Kelley, a BGCL alum who is celebrating his 50th anniversary working at the club. "He was patient and no-nonsense," Santana noted, "but he was a very caring guy."

After graduating from Lawrence High School in 1982, Santana worked as a music producer around day shifts in the design department at local factories and night shifts at a telecommunications company. He began selling real estate to make extra money, and soon discovered a passion for the business that continues to this day.

Santana also remains committed to BGCL where his son, Miguel, was a club kid before beginning his own career as a music producer.

"I love supporting the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence," Santana said. "It's important to give back, and a pleasure to give back to an organization that has always done so much for the youth of this community."

Register for the BGCL Take Action Walkathon at https://bgclma.ejoinme.org/walk2016. For sponsorship information, contact Andrea Nahigian at 978-683-2747, ext. 118 or anahigian@lawrencebgc.com.

 

Did You Know?

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