Thanks to Mr. Johnson
When Roy Johnson left California to become Chief Professional Officer of the Boys and Girls Club of Robertson County, the club Board felt it was struggling against almost insurmountable odds. It had raised the $100,000 the Boys and Girls Clubs of American suggested a small opening club must have, and it had tried to comply with all the requests of the BFCA Regional Director (though it took a long time for the Board to actually figure out what the Regional Director wanted), but it still wasn’t enough. The Regional Director did not think the Board had enough credibility and he didn’t think that Robertson County had what it took to sustain a Boys and Girls Club. That was three years ago—three years of continuous operation.
Enter Roy Johnson, Boys and Girls Club professional. Johnson got the Club open in a couple of weeks and got it chartered in three months. He convinced the regional director we were the real deal and that was the end of that. BGCRC has been a member in good standing with good ratings ever since.
That did not mean the Club was out of the woods. In the first year, it faced all kinds of problems—staff issues, space issues, mold issues, computer issues, theft issues, member issues. Mr. Johnson proved to be a computer expert—able to setup all the usual Boys and Girls Club programs—and a man who patiently faced all the problems until he or others found a means to solve them.
After a year and a half, it became obvious that the old junior high main building was too much space to monitor or afford, so the Club moved into the cafeteria with HISD’s help and blessing. Now Roy, the architect/carpenter, emerged. Mr. Johnson with the help of Board members, especially Douglas Staten, turned the cafeteria into a club with offices, an education area, a computer area, and a games room.
He also proved to be an expert at building stages and running sound systems as the three past “THE EVENT” fundraisers prove. And he understood the tried and true BGCA methods of raising money—the outside EVENT, the Gala, and the golf tournament. This year, BGCRC had all three and all three made money—the EVENT and Gala reaching their fundraiser goals.
Speaking of sound systems, Johnson was often seen in B/CS running sound for other groups like the Brazos Valley Troupe. He was truly a talented man with a lot of expertise.
As a basketball coach, Johnson taught his junior high boys traveling team to coach themselves from the floor. The “if this happens, you do this” method worked well this summer as the traveling team scored victories all across this half of the state. Mr. Roy knew basketball.
After three years, the Boys and Girls Club of Robertson County is still struggling to meet its budget each month but it’s chartered, it has had good BGCA reviews, and its Board knows how to do a lot of things it didn’t know how to do three years ago—all because of Roy Johnson.
The Robertson County community lost Mr. Johnson to complications of double pneumonia last week. The memorial service will be held at Jones Chapel Missionary Baptist Church on Friday at 2 pm with Board President Benny Carroll presiding. The entire community is welcomed as it comes together to appreciate this talented man.
One of Roy’s many, many duties was to pick up the Calvert kids to transport them to the Club in Hearne two or three days a week. Board member Bobbie Alford said her little granddaughter, Kendall, loved Mr. Roy and she looked forward to seeing him pull up and open the van door. “Where’s Mr. Roy?” said the six year old. Many kids are asking that question. It’s a hard one to answer.
A memorial service for Roy Johnson, Chief Professional Officer of the Boys and Girls Club of Robertson County, will be held at Jones Chapel Baptist Church on Friday, November 29, at 1 pm.
Melissa Freeman | Robertson County News