The Northern Neck Rotary Club Community Service Award for 2011 will be presented to Wardell Carter, Unit Director of the Northern Neck Boys’ and Girls’ Club in Kilmarnock, on the CAPINNÉ paddlewheel cruise on July 16, 2011. Outgoing Rotary Club President Davis Smith said, “Many times recognition is given to the people most visible but often there are unsung heroes behind the scenes who deserve to be singled out. We believe that Wardell Carter is one who meets the criteria.”
Carter like many of the kids raised in the Northern Neck said that “when I was 18 I had decided I was going to leave the Northern Neck and never look back. I didn’t appreciate what was here until I left but it didn’t take long to figure out how great this place really is.”
Carter has been associated with the Boys and Girls Club since its inception in 2005 and has had a significant impact on the Club, its members, its board of directors and the community itself. Lara Brown and Myra Palin, Counselors for the Lancaster Middle School for grades 4 through 8, affirm that the Boys and Girls Club is providing a much needed positive place for students to go after school. Prior to this, many went to empty homes.
Prior to joining the staff of the Club, Carter spent twenty five years in various positions in youth programs in Lancaster, Northumberland, Westmorland and King William Counties. He is a people person totally devoted to helping all youth in the Northern Neck become upstanding members of our community and have fun doing it.
Parents, staff members and directors will quickly tell you that Carter is a quiet and effective leader who is looked up to and respected. Carter said “I had to learn the multi-layered approach to discipline as taught by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. It is subtle but amazingly effective using incentives and peer pressure to accomplish the desired results.” Most of the kids Carter has disciplined go on to become his most productive members.
Carter deflects personal praise and speaks about how well his supervisor, Larry Long, has meshed with the operation. He cites how effective the mentors, especially the seniors who volunteer their time to read with the kids and tutor them, are in making a difference in members lives.
The summer membership of the Boys and Girls Club of the Northern Neck is 187 members offering programs in Educational and Career Development, Character and Leadership, Health and Life Skills, The Arts and Sports, Fitness and Recreation. Some of the specific topics dealt with include: Bullying, Good Sportsmanship, Etiquette, and games like basketball, pool, and many others. 100 kids are now coming into the club every day for our programs. This number is expected to swell with the opening of the new insulated, climate controlled gym, according to Carter. There is even a new floor for the basketball court.”
Incoming President, Ken Knull said, “The Northern Neck Rotary Club is proud to recognize Carter Cater with the 2011 Community Service Award. He joins a select group of inspiring members of the community who have been recognized in the past by our Club. They include: Carroll Ashburn, Dr. Elizabeth “Sissy” Crowther, Joe Curry, Connie Deagle, RN, Tom Goss, Doug Monroe, Jean Nelson, Austin Roberts and Dr. Rocky Tingle.”