MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The Boys and Girls Club of the Grand Strand is continuing the former Mayor John Rhodes’ vision of creating a computer lab for the children.
CEO Tracy Bailey says John Rhodes was a strong advocate for the disadvantaged youth in Myrtle Beach, serving as the former Board Chair for The Boys and Girls Club of the Grand Strand.
“He really stepped in, stepped up to be chair of the board and reach out to all of the people that he met over his years as Mayor and years of just being a very vibrant member of this community and brought people into the building and into the organization to help restore it to its former glory,” Bailey said.
Bailey said her and Rhodes talked about creating a computer lab for the kids.
“It was his vision to build a state of the art computer lab so that those kids could have every opportunity to reach their full potential,” Bailey said.
Bailey said “when John passed away, those people in the community that were friends of his and some people on our board and at the club decided to really make sure that his vision became a reality.”
The new computer lab would allow the kids to use them for research, school, coding, podcasting, and more.
“The computers here date back to 2012. They don’t have any cameras, we aren’t able to do any zoom meetings and the young people that are involved in their virtual studies, are not able to use these computers for that purpose,” Bailey said.
Bailey said her and her staff become close with Rhodes saying “he cared about people and he especially cared about children and there wasn’t much that he wouldn’t do to see doors open for them so that they could have more opportunities.”
“Our relationship has run a little deep and he’s always been a mentor for me to learn the ins and outs of everything and being a role model so he was a real great guy,” Marcus Chestnut, Finance Manager at the Boys and Girls Club of the Grand Strand said.
“John was one of a kind. There will never be another John Rhodes. He was just very personable, very funny, very warm, and john had a very big heart,” Bailey said.
To donate to The John Rhodes Technology Fund, go to the Boys and Girls Club of the Grand Strand website.