If you’ve called Ballard home for awhile, you might remember when the Ballard Boys & Girls Club lost their beloved director Mark Hendricks, who was transferred to Federal Way in 2012. The community was so devastated about the transfer that they held a rally to protest the decision. Hendricks served as director of the Federal Way club ever since, and has just announced his retirement.
Alison Soike’s used to work with Hendricks during his 25-year tenure at the Ballard club, and she’s organizing a big retirement party for Hendricks on Sunday, Oct. 14 at the Ballard Elks. “We want to spread the word to as many people who knew Mark over the last 30 years as possible. All the kids who are now adults and parents and families who have been impacted by the work Mark did and who he is as a person,” Soikes tells My Ballard.
While he didn’t choose to make the move to Federal Way, Hendricks says the last six years have been rewarding. “Lots of families and kids that need a supportive and positive place to be mentored by staff, get a meal and enjoy sports or other activities with friends,” he tells My Ballard.
Hendricks is well-loved in Federal Way as well — he was recently selected as Citizen of the Month by the Federal Way Mirror.
“We have kids who show up here just to see him — and that’s such a huge draw of this place,” Louie Grill, program director for the Federal Way club, told the Mirror. “Because once they come in, the reason why they come back is the connections they make with positive adults.”
His retirement plans?
“I am going to spend more time with my wife and family — something that I did not do a lot of when working super long hours at the clubs,” Hendricks says. “I am not the kind of guy that can sit around so I will do something/volunteer helping others.”