Thank you for visiting our blog! We hope it inspires you to learn more about the Club and encourage you to attend the Greatest Kids Event! WE WOULD LOVE YOUR SUPPORT! (Oh, and if you are reading this on your phone, viewing it horizontally works better.) – GBK Kelly & Awesome Sidekick Willow

The Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County Greatest Big Kid Event Friday, April 26th


Kelly Bellinger (GBK) & Willow (Boys & Girls Club)

Vote Online.  Can’t attend the event, vote online at https://givegrove.com/greatest-kids-2019/vote/kelly-bellinger/


A not-to-be-missed evening with friends

The TEAM GREEN Journey…


The O.C. Carmichael, Jr. Youth Center, Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County

Joining the Board. Kelly Bellinger is a Board Member of The Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County.  Inspired by the philanthropic endeavors of her grandparents, Ernestine Raclin and O.C. Carmichael, Jr., and her parents, Chris and Carmi Murphy, Kelly has also enjoyed working with charitable organizations. When she moved back to South Bend in 2008, she and her (late) husband immediately got involved with the Club. Kelly then joined the Board with the condition, however, that she not have to ask for donations. She says that, despite her DNA (as referenced above), she is very uncomfortable asking people for donations and apparently got some recessive genes in that department. They accepted her “terms” and she has, since, contributed in other ways as a board member, a GBK Event committee member and through her art. Well, until now…obviously!

Donating her services. Professionally, Kelly runs her own business, KellBell designs –http://kellbelldesigns.blog – painting whimsical furniture, murals and gift items, as well as helping people declutter their homes. Over the past several years, she has donated her work (painted furniture, painting parties and Merlin Buddy Benches) to the GBK Event auction, raising over $30,000. She credits the Club’s incredibly generous donors (in particular, buddy bench winners: Mike and Karen Leep, John and Barb Phair, Tim Baker, Chris and Carmi Murphy and Manette Tepe).


Epiphanies are the big moments that help make sense of your life, and they have ripple effects that are true for everyone, not just you.

Cindy Chupack
Kelly’s ah-ha moment

Kelly’s Epiphany. Last year, much to the surprise of the event committee (and even herself), Kelly volunteered to be a Great Big Kid (“GBK”). For some reason, she felt that if she was ever going to do it- 2019 was the year! And here we are!

Do it once and GO BIG. Kelly knew that fundraising was going to be a challenge as it makes her stomach queasy and heart rate skyrocket. However, she decided that if she was only going to do this sort of thing once, she would GO BIG.

Going Big Means Big Plans. As a board member, Kelly also really wants to raise awareness of the Club’s services and mission. https://www.bgcsjc.org/ So, she, Willow and Kelly’s kids are taking this up a notch. Starting with a PARADE FLOAT in the 2019 South Bend St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Saturday March 16th. Come cheer for TEAM GREEN on the BIG GREEN FLOAT, when the One-and-Only GREEN Merlin Buddy Bench will be making its’ big public debut! See menu item “The Green Bench”.

Each clover on the tree represents a donation made at a fundraiser last night. THANK YOU to our friends for helping us decorate our tree for the parade!!


Some things are meant to be… The day finally came and Kelly and Willow met. (Cue fireworks.) Willow is terrific kid. Kelly knew the moment she met her, that they would be fast friends. Hopefully for a lifetime! (See Blog post: BFFs)

Meet Willow. Willow is an energetic, artistic and caring, sometimes spunky 11 year old who attends the Club’s LaSalle Elementary location in Mishawaka after school. She sings in choir, does patrol and also participates in Girls On The Run (in fact, Kelly will be her “running buddy” this May for a 5K!) She also takes advantage of the programs the Club has to offer and is always extending a helpful hand to the Club staff. She enjoys their guidance and loves to be silly with them. Not only that, but she also takes the time to be nice to those around her and make other kids feel included. Oh, and did we mention, she is artistic!!!! Was this meant to be, or what?

The TEAM GREEN logo connects two symbols meaningful to Kelly and Willow…much like the joining of their lives. See menu item “The Logo”.

We hope you visit again and again as we continue to share all our crazy, fun shenanigans leading up to the big event on April 26, 2019! Keep checking “GREEN TEAM SHENANIGANS”.