Local program provides opportunities for community volunteers

Steve Kunkler and Steve Kunkler

For over 15 years, Leadership BG has been providing individuals wanting to help in the local community with the opportunity to do so.

Earlene Kilpatrick, the executive director for Leadership BG, said the program has room for around 21 individuals, with participants being selected based on their leadership potential and community involvement.

To participate there is a fee of $390, covering transportation, supplies, and meals, Kilpatrick said.

Kilpatrick also described the program as a one-on-one opportunity to provide information about how various parts of the city and how they impact the local community. This includes businesses, industries, and government.

One of the tasks done by the program is a community project.

Last year the group, as their community project, worked with the local teen center to hold a spaghetti dinner, she said. The proceeds went toward the expansion of the library at the Wood County Juvenile Detention Center.

Several people from the local community have gone through the program, including Dan Murphy, a mortgage loan officer at First Federal Bank and treasurer of Leadership BG, who helps collect dues for the program.

The executive committee also gives out scholarships to the University.

‘I then give out [the] scholarship money to the university of the awardee’s choice to use as they want,’ Murphy said.

He also helped raised money for the cocoon shelters, which is a battered women’s shelter in Bowling Green.

Others involved include Stephen Meredith, the fire chief for Bowling Green, who has helped by giving tours of the fire station while giving a summary of what goes on at the fire station.

Meredith has also helped with projects in the local community through the program.

‘We created a library out at the juvenile detention center,’ he said. ‘We provided a good selection of books [including] motivational type books, success story type books, books that help give them hope.’

The city police have also sent people to attend the program.

Gary Spencer, the chief of police for Bowling Green, is also the current president of the alumni association of Leadership BG.

Spencer went through the program in 2000 and came away from the experience with a better understanding of other people’s function in the local community.

In 2000 the group went to Phoenix Technology, a business that made plastic pellets for Coca-Cola bottles, and even volunteered an entire day at the Black Swamp Arts Festival, he said.’

‘It was an interesting course, and I’m glad I attended,’ Spencer said.