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Bushong puts focus on teamwork; PROFILE


Name: Tom Bushong

Job Description: First year as president of the Savage Boys & Girls Club, which has baseball, softball, basketball and soccer programs used by about 1,100 families. About 700 kids play on 65 baseball and softball teams. About 400 play basketball. Soccer draws 500 to 600. Budget about $150,000 yearly. He is the chairman of the board of commissioners, each of whom is responsible for a sport and interacts with the county for gyms and field space. Why take on the job? "Somebody's got to do it."

Age: 52

Residence: Cherry Tree Farms, near U.S. 29 and Route 216

Personal info: Grew up in Prince George's County, where he played "the big three" -- football, basketball and baseball. DuVal High alumnus, hired by Bell Atlantic right after high school. Joined Marine Corps, returned to Bell Atlantic, became program manager; now retired. Has taught at the college level and now works as a consultant. Father of Andy, 8, and Daniel, 9.

Best thing about being president: "I got into this because I was doing coaching for my boys. It is so cool to watch the kids develop. And if they're having fun, it makes it all worthwhile. When kids are in sports, all of a sudden it clicks, and you see the light go on. Life, today, is about teamwork, and these sports teach them to be part of a team."

Biggest challenge to the club: "Fields and gyms. Because everything is growing, we hate to turn kids away. There are limited resources and a lot of negotiations, because other organizations want those fields and gyms, too. Also it's a challenge trying to keep it affordable. We don't want to turn any child away because their family can't afford the registration fees."

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