POINCIANA – Like a number of community gathering places in Poinciana, the Boys & Girls Club Poinciana Teen Center has a lot to offer the teens who stop by there after school, looking for a place to hang out with their friends or do some homework.
But as Melody Nadal noted, the center on Marigold Avenue could also use more — including sports equipment that it now lacks the money to purchase.
“They could really use money to buy some sports equipment,” Nadal said. “Everything they have is donated to them.”
Nadal is the founder of Poinciana Pros, a business networking and support group that helps give Poinciana area companies — including many self-employed residents — a way to reach a wider audience across Central Florida. Nadal and her daughter Dominique also run Nadal Enterprises, which provides business consultations.
In late July, Poinciana Pros presented Opal Walker Warren, the executive director of the Boys & Girls Teen Center, with a check for $500 to help finance more sports equipment there for the teens to enjoy. The money was raised in a unique way, and through a very special event: the Miss Poinciana Pageant, held at the Poinciana Community Center on July 27, the first ever pageant in this community.
The event was held in conjunction with Poinciana’s ongoing 40th anniversary bash and sponsored by the Association of Poinciana Villages, the homeowner’s association that oversees the community’s 10 villages.
Nadal said the pageant served a dual purpose.
“Poinciana Pros and the Miss Poinciana Pageant raised $500 for the Boys & Girls Teen Center, and it wasn’t just a pageant, it was a fund-raiser by the Poinciana Pros,” Nadal said. “It was done to raise money for the Boys & Girls Teen Center and to start a new piece of history for Poinciana.”
But it was also, she said, an opportunity to get the community more involved in supporting the growth of its local institutions.
That’s partly why Poinciana Pros exists, Nadal said.
Of its 150 members, “We want them to get active, so we’re looking for them to get more active in the community,” she said.
Warren said she was thrilled to have gotten the $500 contribution and would put it to good use.
“We want to put to toward our sports equipment, and we’re looking forward to having that $500 to expose kids to new activities,” she said. “It’s important just to know people in the community are behind us, and doing this for us without our even asking.”
The Teen Center opened last August as a place where teens between the ages of 10 to 18 could meet, relax, hang out together and do their homework.
“We are wrapping up the end of our first year,” Warren said. “We’re looking forward to another year of things happening at the Boys and Girls Club as they become more acclimated to us. Although it’s not a lot of kids coming here every day, the kids who do come here are benefitting from the club. We want to leave a mark on the kids here.”
This won’t be the first and last fund-raising that the business group holds. Later this fall Poinciana Pros is planning to raise money for the Poinciana YMCA.
“That will be a different event,” Nadal said, adding that the plans for it are still in the works.
“That will be something that Poinciana Pros puts on, but we will be raising money for the YMCA,” Nadal said. “It’s an agency we want to help out. The YMCA deserves to get a lot of help from the community.”
Anyone who wants to help out on these fund-raisers, she said, can join Poinciana Pros and also have an opportunity to meet and network with other small business owners in the community of 84,000 residents.
“Just log on to PoincianaPros.com, and join our group,” Nadal said. “We’re always looking for new people.”
Contact us at FreelineOrlando@Gmail.com.