Babecki embraces Boys & Girls Club mission

Posted Online: Jan. 06, 2013, 6:16 pm
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By John Marx,
Bright, bubbly and business-like, that's how Genevieve Babecki rolls.

The unique mix is why -- at just 24 years old -- Babecki is director of development for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Valley.

She is bright enough to have mastered three languages while growing up in various outposts across the globe, understand the impact the Boys & Girls Club of the Mississippi Valley has on the Quad-Cities and savvy enough to stand toe-to-business-toe with corporate heads and community leaders.

And bubbly enough to know there is good in all of us and that it's mandatory to laugh at yourself.

"What a great organization I get to represent,'' said Babecki, who landed the post with the Boys & Girls Club last July. "I was that youngster who relied on an after-school program at the YMCA, having lost my mother at a young age. I understand how vital the Boys & Girls Club is to a community. And I have seen the positive impact the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Valley has on the Quad-Cities.''

The journey to reach the Quad-Cities has been unique for Babecki, who lives in Davenport with her boyfriend, James. She has lived in Canada, China, Ecuador and assorted metropolitan areas in the United States. The Quad-Cities, she said, is the perfect place to put down roots and chase plenty of dreams.

"My father's job and then opportunities through Syracuse University allowed me to live and experience various cultures up close,'' said Babecki. "The Quad-Cities is an amazing place, a tremendous cultural hub, with some amazing and caring people, great restaurants, plenty of things to do. I have been welcomed and accepted here, and that is not always the case in some places.''

In a job where you seek support -- whether it be through in-kind services or through donated dollars -- Babecki gets it.

She understands the importance of reaching 200-plus young people per day, nearly 1,500 overall with sites in Iowa and Illinois, as the Boys & Girls Club does. And she knows she has landed in a community that takes a keen ownership in its youth.

"We have a committed and dedicated board of directors,'' she said. "We have a great staff and a community that takes ownership in our message and our goals. I'll use our new teen center, 'The Club,' (set to open later this month) as one example. I have knocked on may doors and will knock on many more, but the people of this community are receptive.''

At 24, Babecki is as goal-oriented as the next person, but she has an athlete's approach to what is before her. One day, one step, one mission at a time.

"I'm in a great place in a job that is both rewarding and challenging,'' she said. "I like it here. I'm taking things as they come. I'm happy, and I'm fortunate. You can't ask for much more.''

Columnist John Marx can be reached at (309) 757-8388 or


Local events heading

  Today is Thursday, July 31, the 212th day of 2014. There are 153 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: A corps of surgeons now occupies the new hospital quarters at the Garrison Hospital on the Rock Island Arsenal. A fence has been installed to enclose the prison hospital.
1889 -- 125 years ago: B. Winter has let a contract to Christ Schreiner for a two story brick building with a double store front on the south side of 3rd Avenue just west of 17th Street. The estimated cost was $4,500.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Germany sent simultaneous ultimatums to Russia and France, demanding that Russia suspend mobilization within 12 hours and demanding that France inform Germany within 18 hours. In the case of war between Germany and Russia, France would remain neutral.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Civil service offices at the post office and the Rock Island Arsenal were swamped as more than 700 youths sought 15 machinist apprenticeships at the Arsenal.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Last night, American Legion Post 246 in Moline figuratively handed over the trousers to a female ex-Marine and petticoat rule began. Olga Swanson, of Moline, was installed as the first woman commander of the post .
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illinois Quad City Civic Center captured the excitement and interest of a convention of auditorium managers this weekend in Reno, Nev. Bill Adams, civic center authority chairman, said the 10,000-seat arena planned for downtown Moline has caught the eye of construction firms, suppliers, management teams and concession groups.

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