Longtime Boys, Girls Club Director named to Hall of Fame

Greg Pirkle is the first person in the region to get the honor

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – The longtime director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of North Mississippi gets a big honor for his years of dedication and service.

As a tax and estate planning lawyer with Phelps Dunbar, Greg Pirkle keeps a full schedule, but he always finds time for the Boys and Girls Clubs of North Mississippi.

“You want to give those young people opportunity, they are so full of potential, they have what it takes,” Pirkle said.

Pirkle has served as director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of North Mississippi since the nonprofit was formed in 1996. Back then, there wasn’t even a space for the kids, but the city of Tupelo offered the building that is home to the Northside Club. Now, there is another Tupelo location, in Haven Acres, and clubs in New Albany, Ripley, and Oxford.

Pirkle has helped guide the nonprofit as it grew, taking part in events such as Dance Like the Stars, and working behind the scenes, to make sure the clubs had what they needed to succeed, for the kids and employees.

“You can have all the programming you need, but if you can’t pay these people, this is how they make their living, and they need the board to back them up. That is the job of the board, to set policy, raise money, make sure our youth have a structure in place,” Pirkle said.

For his efforts, he was recently named to the Hall of Fame of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Mississippi. Pirkle is quick to credit fellow board members, staffers, and volunteers.

“For me, that’s the beauty of Boys and Girls Clubs, bring these kids in, they’re wonderful kids, all you need to do is provide an outlet for them, give them a chance, a way they can use potential, that is the most gratifying thing I have seen at the Boys and Girls Clubs,” he said.

Board Member Becky Rollins said Pirkle’s contributions to the clubs and the kids can’t be measured.

“I think being an original, member, bringing it to Tupelo, getting it organized, look at us now, five clubs, quite a few cities. We are doing great things for kids, he started that and helped us get where we are today,” Rollins said.

By the time most people have been named to any hall of fame, they’ve already retired. But Greg Pirkle said he plans on serving as director for some time.

He encouraged others in the community to get involved and to help the clubs produce tomorrow’s leaders.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of North Mississippi serve more than 1,700 young people every week.

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