On Saturday, July 20 - community members and students gathered together at The Chateau Banquet Hall in Merrillville, IN for the POP Luncheon. POP is the acronym for Project Outreach and Prevention on Teen Violence Foundation. Founded by Dr.’s Mike McGee, chief of ER and Reuben Rutland, chief of trauma at The Methodists Hospitals, Southlake – POP was organized because both felt powerless by the number of youth entering their hospital that are either critically injured or killed by youth violence.
The vision of POP is to provide outreach services, educational seminars, as well as, college and career readiness opportunities. POP fosters healthy lifestyles and positive behaviors by working with community partners to create a safe, fulfilling, and academically enriching environment. Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana’s John Will Anderson Club in Gary partnered with POP this past year. As a result of this partnership, Dr.’s McGee and Rutland awarded Rosemarie Joiner, regional club director of the Hammond, East Chicago and Gary Clubs, with their prestigious Community Leadership Award.
“This comes as no surprise that Rose was honored with such an award,” states Ryan Smiley, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana. “Rose always goes above and beyond to ensure the safety and health of youth. She works tirelessly to partner with such organizations, like POP, whose mission aligns closely with our Clubs. We are proud of Rose and grateful to POP for keeping the safety of children first and foremost.”
Earlier this year, Rosemarie Joiner also was honored with a Maytag Dependable Leader Award by Maytag and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. She was one of seven people across the United States to be given this award for the work she does in providing Northwest Indiana youth learning and STEM opportunities during out-of-school time.