For 42 years, Ruth Ludlow was a dedicated member of the Whirlpool Corporation team. As manager of video communications, she also served in the company’s Women’s Network. It was there she found her way to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor. More than 12 years ago, Ruth joined members of the Women’s Network to volunteer at the Club’s Steak and Burger fundraising event. She had such a great time, Ruth volunteered for the next event, a Mardi Gras fundraiser. “After that, I was hooked,” said Ruth.
“It’s so easy to get attached to the Club kids,” she says. “They can make you laugh, make you proud, and even make you cry sometimes.” Discovering her love for the work of the Clubs, Ruth became a regular volunteer. Upon her retirement from Whirlpool Corporation in 2009, Ruth was elected to serve on the Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor Board of Directors; for the past two years, she has served as vice president and secretary for the board.
Over the course of her seven years of service as a board member, Ruth has seen tremendous progress in the Clubs and the board itself. “Ann Dahmer has been a transformative leader,” Ruth says of the current board chair. “She involves everyone in the growth process and has brought a real strategy to the group.” Ruth is proud of the direction of the board, its focus on recruiting new members who have a passion for the Club’s mission, and the long-term strategy to grow the Club.
Ruth has seen firsthand the difference the Clubs make in members’ lives every day. “I believe that the kids who come to the Clubs are getting so much,” says Ruth. Her biggest dream for the Clubs is for them to have an even greater impact on the community and surrounding areas with more Club sites. She also has dreams for members and knows that the Clubs afford each member a better chance of going to college, being productive citizens, and living to their full potential. Ruth is unwavering in her belief, “These kids will be the ones to turn around this community.”
Ruth says that she has enjoyed her time serving as a Board member. With her term expiring in 2016, she will continue to stay involved as a volunteer because she can’t imagine not being a part of the Clubs.