|Al Womack Jr. was the 2014 Alton Halloween Parade Marshal on Friday night. He is the executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Alton.|
If there was ever a man who gave his heart and soul to Alton, it is Al Womack Jr.
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Womack was the parade marshal at the annual Alton Halloween Parade, sponsored by the East End Improvement Association. He is the executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Alton. He is a former assistant coach for the Alton High football team for many years.
Womack sees the parade marshal role as “an honor.”
“I didn’t realize the magnitude of the honor and after talking to Don Huber, a long-time East End Improvement Association member, I learned more about the honor. This is an opportunity to represent the organization I work for and put the organization in front of the community. Everywhere I go people have been mentioning it.”
Womack is a selfless man and has devoted much of his life working to inspire the youth of Alton to a positive way.
“I can’t say enough about the community of Alton and how it has embraced me over the years,” Womack said. “The community has been nothing but good to me. You hear complaints about the city, but there is so much good here. I am an advocate for the city of Alton, the school district and our youth.”
The mission of the Boys and Girls Club of Alton resonates deeply in Womack.
“The mission speaks volumes to the person I am and what I am trying to accomplish to produce and create responsible and productive citizens and make sure our community is a better and safer place,” he said. “I am approaching 20 years with the organization. I have been executive director for 17 years and was here almost three years before that."
Womack is most proud of seeing what individuals have done with their lives since he started.
Several previous members of Boys and Girls Club of Alton graduated from college and found their way to the military. The executive director of the Alton organization said it gives him great satisfaction when he hears from those who have been through the program and found success.
The program has added a significant amount of programs since Womack took over.
“Our kids are getting what they need,” he said. “We have seen a shift in numbers; we now have about 1,100 kids. We see more than 200 kids per day. It shows we are doing something right and it is a value.”
The Alton man had a stellar career at Alton High School and was an all-state lineman. He graduated in 1989. He played both the guard and tackle slots while at Alton High. In college, he was a three-year starter at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, just east of Dayton.
As Womack rode through the Downtown Alton area during the parade, he said he reflected about how proud he is to be a citizen of Alton as well as the Boys and Girls Club organization.
“I also thought about how proud I am to represent Boys and Girls Club and proud to be a citizen of a community that supports charities.”
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