Tim Knowles, a founding member of the Florida Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs, is stepping down from the board of directors after two decades of service.
The Alliance is a leading statewide group to help secure state funding for clubs working to create positive experiences for Florida children.
Knowles is a 65-year-old Bradenton native and principal at the Porges, Hamlin, Knowles & Hawk law firm. He graduated from the Webb Institute of Naval Architecture in 1975, earning a law degree from Stetson University in 1982.
In early 1997, Knowles, joined by volunteers from the Florida Area Council of Boys & Girls Clubs, began a strategy of getting state backing for an Area Council. This led to an organized effort to add Boys & Girls Clubs to the Florida budget.
By August, Knowles and his group developed the blueprint for a statewide Alliance.
A special State Development Committee was launched in October 1997, led by Knowles and Roy McBean (Chairman Emeritus-FL Alliance) with assistance from John Herring and Mary O’Connor (BGC of Palm Beach County), Jack Kane (BGC of the Big Bend), Bob Sokoloski (BGC of the Suncoast), Tom Condron (BGC of Manatee County), Mack Reid (BGC of Sarasota County), Danny Lyons (BGC of Martin County) and Ronnie Jenkins (BGCA Regional Service Director — SE).
In 1998, the Florida Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs received its first budget appropriation of $1,000,000, with Knowles serving as the organization’s first “stand alone” president. During the next two decades, Knowles would help the Alliance usher in an era of strong relationships between member organizations, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Florida Area Council of Clubs.
The original 22 Alliance member organizations served just over 84,000 children in 116 Club facilities. By 2005, the Alliance grew to 38 organizations, serving over 174,000 youths through 228 Club sites, with more than $68,000,000 going for Florida’s Boys & Girls Clubs.