Boyz To Kings And Ability 1st Help Build A Community

Screen shot 2014-05-27 at 12.24.09 PMBy Rose Klein
Greene Publishing, Inc.
The Boyz to Kings organization, started by Merv Mattair, is a mentor program for young men that provide positive role models, teaching boys leadership skills and helping them to build solid relationships with their families. These young men are guided by the organization’s 12 principles, established to teach accountability and respect, to themselves as well as others.
Ability 1st is an organization that helps individuals with physical disabilities get the resources they need in order to live independently. The organization is versatile in their assistance, offering support groups, education, medical supplies and medical equipment loans and constructs ramps for those in wheelchairs.
The two organizations partnered together last month to build Madison resident Sandra McClellan a much-needed ramp. McClellan has been mostly home bound after she was badly burned from a fire in her home last year. The 47-year-old said she fell asleep smoking and woke up with flames on her body. Her husband Robert was home, but outside at the time the fire started. By the time he reached McClellan, she was already badly burned. The burns kept her in the hospital last year for six months and caused her to need nine surgeries. After leaving the hospital, she went to a rehabilitation center for four months before being able to go back to her home. When asked about last year’s experience she said, “As long as I’m living, I’m not worried.”
The ramp for the McClellan’s is the fourth ramp the two organizations have partnered together on. Both organization leaders, Merv Mattair with Boyz to Kings and Kevin Ogden with Ability 1st met at a Shared Services meeting, where groups meet to discuss the betterment of Madison County, and four ramps later, the two groups plan on building more ramps together in the future.
For more information on Boyz
to Kings, visit For more information on Ability 1st and their services, visit or call (850) 575-9621 or (850) 576-5245 (TDD/TTY).
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Rose Klein

Written by Rose Klein