Allen Craven remembers playing basketball and football, singing in the choir and going to summer camp at the Boys & Girls Club of Cabarrus County.
He remembers when former President Jimmy Carter came to the Club's annual pancake day during his campaign, and he remembers shooting a BB gun at a turkey shoot. But his best memories involve being around the kids.
"I probably get more out of it than they do," Craven said.
After more than 50 years of memories at the Club, Craven recently received the Boys & Girls Clubs of America's National Service Medallion, a national award that recognizes board members and volunteers for their service to the Boys & Girls Club through leadership, development of programs or projects or fundraising efforts.
Craven, a 60-year-old Concord native and owner broker of Weichert Realtors - Craven & Co., has held many roles at the Club. He's been a member of the board of directors since 1991, has held several positions, including president and vice president, and has served on several committees in addition to volunteering as a basketball coach.
Whether it's behind the scenes or on the sidelines of a basketball court, Craven has contributed countless hours of time and energy in devotion to the Club.
"He will take whatever role is necessary," said Mike Blackwelder, development director of the Boys & Girls Club of Cabarrus County. "On any occasion, he's more than happy to stand up."
He was chairman of the committee responsible for raising $6 million for the construction of the Club's facility on Spring Street Northwest in Concord.
An avid golfer, Craven has also organized the Uwharrie Golf Classic, a golf tournament at Old North State Club in New London, for the past seven years. The tournament raises about $30,000 for the Club every year.
The Boys & Girls Club teaches children important life lessons, especially teamwork, Craven said as he recalled coaching basketball.
"You may be a super athlete or you may not be able to dribble a basketball, but everyone plays," he said. "It's about making everyone better through sportsmanship and playing fair."
For Craven, involvement in the Club is a family tradition. His father, Dr. Fred Craven, was one of the founding directors of the Club, and now his son, Ford, is also an active volunteer.
At the groundbreaking ceremony, both Craven and his father were on hand, their feet steadied on top of shovels plunged into what would become the Club's new facility.
He said he's received only one other recognition that means more to him than his recent award: a "Man and Boy" award from the Club that he shared with his father in the 1980s.