Ed Strickland hails from the heart of eastern North Carolina and proudly holds a position as a member of the Corporate Board at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Carolina. His unwavering dedication to serving as a volunteer shines brightly in his remarkable journey.
During Ed’s formative years, he found himself navigating a turbulent path through various neighborhoods, often characterized by adversity, and offering limited options for young children after school or during the summer. However, fate took a kind turn when, at one point, Ed’s family settled down in an area just a few miles away from what was then known as the ‘Boys Club,’ now transformed into the Boys & Girls Club, a steadfast institution that continues to make a difference to this day.
Reflecting on his early experiences at the Boys & Girls Club, Ed reminisces, “I felt a profound sense of significance when I received my membership card—a credit card-sized piece of cardboard bearing my name. The cool kids would punch a hole in it and thread a shoestring through, allowing you to wear it proudly around your neck. I wish I still had it.” Ed’s voice brims with nostalgia as he adds, “Going there was my sanctuary, my safe haven. They had pool tables, a gym, and a plethora of activities to engage in. When I say this club was my sanctuary, I genuinely believe it saved my life.”
Despite a childhood filled with daunting challenges, Ed’s indomitable spirit propelled him to establish a thriving contracting business, which flourished for nearly three decades. Today, he serves as the President of Deep River Sporting Clays in Sanford, North Carolina. Ed remarks, “I take immense pride in the obstacles I managed to conquer; they molded me into a resilient individual. This is precisely why I passionately support the Boys & Girls Clubs today—to provide children with a haven where they can feel secure, a place where they can cultivate life skills, become part of a supportive community, and, hopefully, steer clear of perilous paths that could potentially deprive them of the fortunate outcome that I was blessed with.”
Stories like Ed’s resonate deeply with us, and we are profoundly thankful when esteemed alumni like him commit to paying forward the invaluable support they received by nurturing each new generation of club members. Ed, your tale is an inspiration, your contributions are invaluable, and your unwavering commitment to being the beacon of hope that every young person deserves is truly commendable. Thank you, Ed, for sharing your story, for your exemplary work, and for your enduring dedication to being the ray of hope in countless young lives.