John Davidson, longtime executive director of Crossroads Hope Academy, will be recognized by the Punta Gorda Rotary at a testimonial dinner, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, at the Isles Yacht Club in Punta Gorda.

“John has done such great things in the community with Crossroads and the kids he takes in there,” said Jim Sanders, president of Arthur Rutenberg Homes and dinner organizer. “He has a really great reputation. We felt he was very deserving of being honored.”

Davidson has been the director of Crossroads, located in eastern Punta Gorda, since 2010 and has worked in the field since 1996. Crossroads is a facility for teenage boys up to age 18 who have not done well in the foster care system. Davidson’s boys have been, on average, placed in as many as 14 foster homes.

They are the kids nobody wants.

Davidson is more than a camp counselor to fractured boys. Crossroads educates them, trains them in vocations, and prepares them for life in the real world when they age out at 18.

Of the 24 boys who aged out of the program under Davidson’s care, six are in college and more than half have their high school diplomas. None are homeless.

“Understand, what John does is a ministry,” Sanders said. “It’s not a job. He’s very passionate about it. Most of those kids would be in jail or some other place without him.

“He gives them a shot.”

The Rotary also plans to give recognition to Davidson’s students with scholarships, Sanders said.

The Punta Gorda Rotary has been recognizing contributors to the community since 1991. Past honorees include late historian Vernon Peeples (1997), Virginia B. Andes Community Clinic co-founders Drs. David Klein (1998) and Mark Asperilla (2008) and late builder Wayne Goff (2016).

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $85. A limited number are available. Tickets can be purchased on line at https://squareup.com/store/punta-gorda-rotary-club.

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