When you think of the Boys and Girls Club of Morristown the first person that usually comes to mind is Bill Seals. For over 36 years he has dedicated his life to helping thousands of deserving members realize their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens. His personal philosophy has always been “some people say if you help just one child you have done a lot, but I feel like if there is one child that has not received help, then you have not done enough”.
Bill is a former club kid that joined the Boys’ Club of Morristown by scavenging for Coca-Cola bottles just to earn the fifty cent membership dues at the age of twelve. Three years later he was selected as one of the club’s first Junior Staff members. After graduating high school, serving in the Army during the Vietnam War and then completing his degree at the University of Tennessee he was hired as the Program Director at his home club in 1974. Several months later he was hired as the Executive Director where he served in that capacity for over 32 years before retiring in 2008.
In those 32 years with the Morristown organization, some of his greatest memories and accomplishments have been seeing eight club members become State Youth of the Year. He also had two become Southeast Regional Youth of the Year, visited the Oval Office in the White House twice with National Youth of the Year Jason Reece and National Youth of the Year Runner-Up Rudy Abate (who now serves on our current Board of Directors). Serving as a Leadership Delegate to several International Keystone Conferences in six countries, receiving Boys and Girls Clubs of America’s National Program Excellence Award, seeing club members perform at over 26 National, Regional, and State Boys and Girls Club events, receiving over 15 Tennessee Area Council program awards, in which, most were developed by Seals were also highlights for Bill. He was instrumental in opening two additional units in neighboring counties serving 800 kids annually. He aided in raising over $100,000 in scholarship funds to help sponsor members educational and sports opportunities. Bill served on BGCA’s Presidential Roundtable, as a foster parent for over 21 club members, helped establish the club’s Foundation with over $2,000,000 committed. Morristown was selected as one of the first five original Taco Bell TEENSupreme Center sites in America under Bill’s leadership. He mentored several new Executive Directors in the movement, and worked alongside his family and the greatest group of dedicated Board volunteers anywhere.
Bill has received numerous awards and honors for his life of service including the David Roark “Light the Path” Award, the Presidential Call to Service Award, Service to the Profession Award, and along with his wife Brenda received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for Service to Youth in Morristown by the Boys and Girls Club Foundation of Morristown. Bill has always been a Champion for Youth. His passion to serve our deserving members has never wavered. Even today he continues his work with local youth on a regular basis. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment is the legacy he has by passing the torch onto his FAMILY to continue his life’s work for youth. Bill and his wife Brenda have been married for 45 years and they have two children Chad (Amy) Seals and John (Marla) Seals and six grandchildren.