2018 McGuire Difference Award Recipients

February
Idols Aside Ministries
 
McGuire Difference Award Supports Active Local Program
    According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, 90 percent of all runaway
children and 63 percent of youth suicides are from fatherless homes. These staggering statistics inspired Idols Aside Ministries - a nonprofit organization designed to establish strong relationships, provide continual discipleship and guidance to fatherless youth and model Christ through sports camps, hunting retreats, education and empowerment. Since 2009, Idols Aside Ministries has been serving the community, and this month's McGuire Difference Award celebrates the group whose vision is encourage a life of service and faith among youth facing seemingly overwhelming obstacles and societal pressures.
    In Polk and the surrounding counties, over 2,000 at-risk or fatherless youth have been served
since the program's inception, and nearly 150 volunteer mentors have worked to improve the lives and futures of youth in the area. The February McGuire Difference Award will help provide an opportunity for the Idols Aside Ministries Annual Celebration Banquet, which shares the organization's message and achievements with over 300 individuals in Polk County.
    Each month, members of the McGuire family and team meet to review the applications which
have been submitted and select one non-profit organization to receive that month's recognition and
$3,000 award. For the members of the McGuire team it's all about helping to make a positive difference in the community. For the recipients, it's an acknowledgement of their tireless efforts to do the same and a much-needed financial boost to help further their missions. If you'd like to nominate a non-profit organization from Polk County for the McGuire Difference Award, please visit www.mcguirekia.com and click on the McGuire Difference tab.
January
Lake Wales Little League

Little League Scores with the McGuire Difference!

For generations, baseball - the all-American pastime and favorite sport, has helped teach children the values of teamwork, character, strategy and strength, all while helping children improve coordination, and learn to deal gracefully with success and failure?  Those are just a few of the things children learn through Lake Wales Little League, and best of all - those teachable moments come naturally as part of an activity that is healthy and a whole lot of fun. Last year's hurricane season wreaked havoc on the fields and equipment used by Lake Wales Little League, but the program that helps kids learn about playing and working hard and never giving up is receiving a helping hand and some recognition by being honored as the recipient organization of the January McGuire Difference award. 

Up to 650 children per season participate as players through the Lake Wales Little League program, and nearly 3,000 siblings, parents, and grandparents come out to cheer on their little Babe Ruths and Mickey Mantles. Along with traditional Little League games and teams, Lake Wales Little League has its own Challenger League for children who face additional physical and emotional challenges, giving them the same outlet for their abundant energy and a way to gain all the strengths of teamwork, coping, coordination, and strategy which otherwise might not be available. And while the program is run exclusively by volunteers, there are equipment, signage, field caretaking, and uniform needs that need to be addressed.

The McGuire Difference Award will assist with helping to repair and replace some of the equipment that insurance didn't cover in the wake of last year's hurricane season, so it's a home run for everyone in the community and something the McGuire Difference Committee was proud to support.

Each month, members of the McGuire family and team meet to review the applications which have been submitted and select one non-profit organization to receive that month's recognition and $3,000 award. For the members of the McGuire team it's all about helping to make a positive difference in the community. For the recipients, it's an acknowledgement of their tireless efforts to do the same and a much-needed financial boost to help further their missions.  If you'd like to nominate a non-profit organization from Polk County for the McGuire Difference Award, please visit www.mcguirekia.com and click on the McGuire Difference tab.