Leeís generosity benefits local Boys & Girls Clubs
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David Lee, president of DK Landscaping in Sonoma County donated $1,200 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County and Rohnert Park Club on Dec. 13.

When his cash and in-kind donations to the club are combined, the total amount that the Rohnert Park-based landscaping company has donated comes to a total of $7,852 since 2012.

Last April, Lee made a promise to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County to do much-needed initial landscaping work and weekly maintenance to the Rohnert Park Club for free and also to donate $25 to the club for each new landscape maintenance account he acquired through the end of 2012.

When David Lee made good on his promise in November 2012, presenting the Club with a check for $600, he renewed the promise for the coming year. He hoped that by the end of 2013 he might be able to donate about $1,000. He surpassed his goal.

The landscaping work was no small task. The Club’s garden space was an overgrown mess. The City of Rohnert Park used to take care of it, but budget cuts forced them to stop. A massive amount of pruning, shaping shrubs, cleaning up debris, digging out weeds, and cutting away dead plants was needed. It took a long, full day with two people working, but in the end it changed the appearance of the club, and people noticed.

Why was this important?

“The building should be a reflection of our programs,” said James Conners, Resource Development Manager of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County. “It’s our face. The kids have more confidence in themselves, in us, in the program, when they go to a nice, well-maintained place. They have a sense of pride in a club that is well taken care of.”

The Lees, co-owners of the Rohnert Park land maintenance company, set an example for the kids by modeling the importance of giving back to the community. “Their generosity is amazing,” says Micki Jones, club director. “They just do it out of the goodness of their heart.”

David Lee grew up in poverty in Hong Kong and East Palo Alto, and has never forgotten his roots.

“I never experienced anything like the Boys & Girls Clubs when I was young and I want kids to be able to enjoy the benefits of the Club and not have such a hard time as I did,” he said.

At the Boys & Girls Club, kids engage in fun activities, learning life skills in the process.

“We teach them to make good choices,” says Jones. “In taking care of the garden, they learn to take care of themselves. And when they see people like the Lees offering their skills and talents for the good of the community, they learn that you can make a difference and effect change.”

Rohnert Park City Councilwoman Gina Belforte has observed Lee’s charitable deeds since she was mayor.

“He’s always willing to jump in and help,” Belforte said. “We’re very fortunate to have David and Kathy contributing to our community the way they do. They make it possible for the kids served by the Clubs to be the next generation of leaders in our community.”

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County comprises 28 Clubs, which serve 3,000 children per day. 

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