Boys & Girls Clubs in Tennessee - 2015 Hall of Fame Inductee
Delores "Dee" Hendershot
Dee Hendershot has been a highly contributing asset to the Boys and Girls Club of Morristown, Tennessee and of the movement they embody on a state and regional level for the last thirty six years. Her contributions have been extraordinary and far reaching. Her contributions began in 1979 when she became a volunteer water safety instructor at our club, and then continuing from 1985 to today as a highly valued employee.
In her first professional role as our Aquatics Director, Dee expanded the program exponentially. Most notably, she initiated an adapted aquatics program for mentally and physically challenged children. She also established another program for disabled children, were she recruited and trained twenty-five volunteers to work one on one in the water with individuals who have cerebral palsy. She then added a senior aerobics program that allowed senior citizens to receive water aerobics training in exchange for volunteer hours at the club. This group of senior citizens, which has given hundreds of hours of volunteer service to the club, proudly sport t-shirts saying, “Chlorine – The Breakfast of Champions.” Dee also applied for and successfully secured the rights to hold our district’s Special Olympics swimming competitions. Next, she started a children’s competitive swimming program that has been very successful for over twenty years, winning several championships while competing against other East Tennessee swimmers.
Dee has also been the club’s Cultural Director. In this role, she taught and recruited volunteers to teach art, oil painting, framing, college classes as well as many more. She also organized a small cub for six and seven year olds called “The V.I.P.’s”. The V.I.P.‘s volunteered throughout the community doing many service projects, such as painting the animal shelters at our local Humane Society. She also responded to a great need in our community by establishing an Alateen Program. This program provides counseling for teenagers who live in homes troubled by adult alcoholics.
Dee has also held the position of club Educational Director. Here, she continued innovating more special programs for kids including the “Head of The Class” program. In this program Dee recruited mentors for Boys & Girls Club members who had fallen behind in school. The Head of The Class program has been in existence for over twenty years and continues to inspire and help thousands of young people.
In these roles, Dee has earned a multitude of awards, including being named to the Women’s Wall of Fame in the Morristown community as well as earning state awards such Boys & Girls Clubs of Tennessee’s staff member of the year. In addition, she received the Champions Lifetime Membership Award from the Parent-Teacher Association. Dee has also been recognized for twenty five years of service to the American Red Cross where she is a board member and has logged over 5,000 volunteer hours.
For the last thirty six years Dee has perhaps done more than anyone in the Morristown area to enhance the quality of life for thousands of children. She has single handedly helped donors, board members, parents and thousands of others across the state to view Boys and Girls Clubs as not just a safe and caring place for kids, but an organization that leads the country in innovation and commitment to the total well-being of its children.