EAST COUNTY — Carl Weeks has spent his career determined to have an impact.
And, after 42 years on the job, he could say his mission has been accomplished.
As longtime president of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Manatee County, the Braden Pines resident has directly and indirectly affected more than 10,000 children.
“That makes it all worthwhile — that you can have an impact on children,” Weeks said. “The good Lord knows we need positive role models for our children, and that’s what keeps me going.”
And, although Weeks plans to stay involved with his first love in the coming months and years, he soon will be entering another phase of life — retirement.
He officially will end his service with the Boys and Girls Club Aug. 31, although he’ll help until his replacement arrives in October.
The Boys and Girls Clubs is hosting a Carl Weeks “farewell tour” now through late November, with Weeks’ finale retirement social slated for 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 30, at Pier 22, in Bradenton.
Four more events are planned for September and November, including the School Board of Manatee County honoring Weeks during its Sept. 23 meeting.
Under Weeks’ tenure, the Boys and Girls Clubs has added numerous programs and intensified its focus to help children prepare for the future. The club now emphasizes reading — striving to get children reading on grade level by third grade — and providing technology opportunities to the 60% of club children who have no access to technology at home.
In 2013, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Manatee also added an outreach gang-prevention program, as well as an alternative to out-of-school suspensions.
“It doesn’t matter where you live in the community,” Weeks said, “kids are kids. Some have more opportunities than others. We try to give all our children hope and opportunity.”
Weeks says his passion for children remains strong, but he recognizes it’s time to end his working days; he would rather hand over the reins of the Boys and Girls Clubs than not be able to give 100% all the time.
“My passion is not going to go south just because I’m not in this office,” Weeks said.
Weeks said he is unsure what he will do in retirement, but he won’t spend his time resting idly.
“I will keep my options open (for new opportunities),” Weeks said. “We’ll see what happens. Stay tuned.”
Carl Weeks Farewell Tour
Aug. 30 — Carl Weeks Retirement Social from 5 to 7 p.m. at Pier 22, in Bradenton
Sept. 10 — Kiwanis of Bradenton — Carl Weeks will speak and be honored at noon at the Manatee Players Performing Arts Center
Sept. 23 — School Board of Manatee County will recognize Weeks at 5:45 p.m. at the administrative center, 215 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.
Sept. 25 — Bradenton City Council will proclaim Sept. 25 as Carl Weeks Day at 6 p.m. at the City Council meeting, 101 Old Main St., Bradenton
Nov. 23 — Little Wishes Big Dreams Event Honoring 2013 Manatee Magnetic Men, featuring Carl Weeks, at 6 p.m. at the Manatee Players Performing Arts Center