A Plan with Teeth

Bill Stokes considers himself to be a champion for underdogs. On June 19, some of those underdogs will say thank you in a big way. The Boys and Girls Club of Henderson County will honor Stokes with its 2010 Local Hero award, an honor that recognizes Stokes’ steadfast support for the youth organization.

Stokes founded and chairs the Etowah Valley Charity Pro-Am that in 14 years has raised more than $300,000 for the Boys and Girls Club and Blue Ridge Community Health Services. “It’s a great honor to receive an award like this from an organization that I really have tried to put my heart and soul into,” Stokes said. “I’ve been involved with the organization since day one and believe in the mission and can see the results in the community. I’m just very honored and very humbled by an award of this nature.”

Stokes was instrumental in starting the dental clinic that now bears his name at Blue Ridge Community Health Services. The clinic provides affordable dental care to Henderson County’s under-insured and uninsured. While serving on the Health Services board, Stokes saw the need to combat a high incidence of tooth decay in young children.

Today, the clinic has grown to serve both children and adults. “I felt like there should be a dental piece involved in the (Health Services) mission. That was my main effort, to get a dental facility for the under-insured and the indigent children,” he said. Blue Ridge Community Health Services and the Boys and Girls Club captured Stokes’ attention because both organizations serve the very people he has a heart for. Stokes has made it his mission in life to help people, especially those who are struggling to get ahead.

“My entire life, I’ve been more or less for the underdog, for the person that doesn’t have all the things going for them in life,” Stokes said. “I really thrive on an organization that brings out the best in people and takes the raw person and turns them into an outstanding person. That’s what the Boys and Girls Club does and why I like it so.”

The next Etowah Valley Pro-Am is June 16, and Stokes expects the one-day tournament to raise $20,000 for the Boys and Girls Club and Blue Ridge Community Health Services.

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