FLORENCE, S.C. – William T. “Billy” Jarrell, a former member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area board, will be honored in September as the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area’s 2019 Champion for Youth.
The annual Champions for Youth event will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 12 at the Waters Building in downtown Florence. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased through their “community calendar” section of the website bgcpda.org.
Jarrell served as a board member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area for 16 years.
He is being honored for his commitment to helping children in the Pee Dee and across the United States.
“His work with Hamsters USA is part of his longtime passion of riding motorcycles across the U.S.,” said Kayla Jebaily-Adams, director of philanthropy with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area. “He also does work with the local toy drive, which the Black Jack Harley-Davidson group is involved with.”
Hamsters USA is an international motorcycle group made up of friends who like to ride and give support to communities and children. It was started by a group of guys during the 1978 Daytona Bike Week. They are a custom motorcycle group out of Sturgis, South Dakota.
Jarrell has been recognized as a Hall of Fame member of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame as a member of Hamsters USA.
Jarrell is a member and past president of the Florence Lions Club and earned Lion of the Year in 2011. He is also a Melvin Jones Fellow of Lions International for Dedicated Humanitarian Services.
He is a past president of the Board of Directors of the Florence Family YMCA. He is a past president of the Boys & Girls Club of the Pee Dee Area board and a past president of the S.C. Area Council of the Boys & Girls Club of America.
He is a charter member of Highland Park United Methodist Church, where he teaches Sunday school. He is a past board chairman of the Administrative Board and past president of the Church Council at Highland Park.
Jarrell also is a member of the Florence Elks Lodge.
He was born in Wadesboro, North Carolina, and is a U.S. Navy veteran.
He is a 1962 graduate of McClenaghan High School. He graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1967 with a degree in business administration.
He started Jarrell Oil Co. Inc. in 1971 after being employed by BP Oil Corp. He retired in 2006. At the time of his retirement, Jarrell was president of Jarrell Oil, Florence Transport Corp, Kwik Fill and Patriot Foods.
Jarrell will join 15 others who hold this distinguished honor: Tom Ewart, 2018; Rob Colones, 2017; Buddy Brand, 2016; Dr. Tammy Pawlowski, 2015; Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area 50th anniversary, recognizing all donors and supporters, 2014; East Florence Mission/Center Day School, 2013; the Rev. Dr. William P. Diggs, 2012; Darla Moore, 2011; Ralph R. Porter Jr., 2010; Dr. Allie E. Brooks Jr., 2009; Richard C. Harrington Jr., 2008; Rep. James E. Clyburn, 2007; Sen. Hugh Leatherman Sr., 2006; Dr. Luther F. Carter, 2005; and Frank Avent, 2004.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area provides after-school and summer programs to children ages 6-18. The organization has four stand-alone clubs and two in-school units in the greater Pee Dee area, Jebaily-Adams said. They are located in Florence, Lake City, Hartsville, Hemingway, Timmonsville and Pamplico.
She said more than 4,000 youth are served annually within the six clubs. During the school year, more than 1,200 children are served a day, and during the summer, more than 800 youth are served per day.
Through its character building and academic programs, the organization has achieved some impressive results, she said. More than 96 percent of teen members are expected to graduate from high school, and 82 percent are expected to complete some kind of postsecondary education, she added.
“Additionally, 65 percent of teenaged members volunteer in their community at least once a year, and 40 percent volunteer at least once a month,” Jebaily-Adams said. “The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area has had an important presence in the Florence community since 1964, and their rich history continues to build as they help youth one child at a time.”