Boys & Girls Club Teen Honored with Trip to Disney World

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thousands of people have seen Ramone Malone in a Salvation Army national commercial shown last Christmas. It features the faces of people helped by The Salvation Army and ends with Ramone saying “thank you.”

Imagine receiving a complimentary weekend at Disney World for you and your family for just being yourself. For high school senior Ramone Malone it was a reality. Ramone, his mother Christi, and his eight year-old brother Ja’Shaun, enjoyed a weekend trip to Disney World recently as a gift from The Salvation Army, but the journey really started when Christi enrolled him at age five at The Salvation Army North Mabee Boys & Girls Club in Tulsa, Okla. To kick off the weekend, the story of Ramone’s life was told in video and narrative in front of more than 2,000 people who attended The Salvation Army National Advisory Organizations Conference (NAOC) at Disney World.

Ramone Malone, Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club Member, spoke to more than 2,000 people at the Army’s NAOC Conference.

Ramone’s story included overcoming challenges shared by many inner-city youth who join Boys & Girls Clubs; growing up with a single mom and living in a poor neighborhood where violence is not uncommon. Ramone, wearing a North Mabee club T-shirt, walked on the stage with Salvation Army Tulsa Area Commander Major Roy Williams. Two room-sized video screens flashed with photos of Ramone from when he was a baby to when he played on his high school football team. After his life story was told, he thanked The Salvation Army and the North Mabee Boys & Girls Club for helping him. The crowd gave him a standing ovation.

Ramone has been accepted to North Eastern Oklahoma State University in the fall and is looking forward to studying business and perhaps playing basketball. After the presentation at the conference, Ramone, Christi and Ja’Shaun, received a “Park Hopper” pass that took them everywhere they wanted to go in Disney World for two days. Ramone, with characteristic optimism, said he wanted to ride all the rides, but it’s likely that the ride of his life was when 2,000 people stood up and applauded him on Saturday morning – for just being himself.

Sallie Godwin is PR Director at the Tulsa Area Command. Sallie began her career as a newspaper reporter and enjoys writing and shooting photographs for six Boys & Girls Clubs and the Center of Hope homeless shelter in Tulsa. She also writes posts for salarmytulsa.blogspot.com.

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Finally, NAOC 2011 is Here!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

After years of planning and months of hype, The Salvation Army’s 2011 National Advisory Organizations Conference (NAOC) kicks off this week! Several Salvation Army National Headquarters staff have set up a temporary office in Orlando, Florida at the Walt Disney World Resort where we’ll be joining with approximately 2,000 Army personnel, Advisory Organization members, and volunteers from across the nation.

What is NAOC? Held about every four years, the Conference serves to develop a stronger relationship between The Salvation Army and local communities by equipping and empowering volunteer Advisory Organization leaders to serve more effectively in every part of the country (i.e, your communities!).

The first NAOC was held in 1983 in St. Louis, Missouri. National Advisory Board members envisioned it as a way for all Advisory Members, Auxiliary, and Service Unit volunteers across the US to come together to gain a greater understanding of the work and presence of The Salvation Army in America.

This year we have a great schedule filled with compelling speakers and activities, as well as inspiring workshops and symposiums. Over the next several days attendees will discuss everything from social media to Millenials, going green to social justice, fundraising to disaster training, and much more.

The most important thing we want participants to take away is that every one return to their communities convinced of the mission of The Salvation Army and experience renewed dedication and commitment to serving in substantive and practical ways.

We apologize that our national blog will not be as active as usual this week, as we will be blogging about Conference updates on our Advisory Members’ website. But please know that we are still working very hard and will resume our posts next week!

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