HUTTO, TX – City Electric Supply (CES) Hutto Branch Manager Arthur “Buzz” Carruth is also the Texas program director of Team Focus — a non-profit organization that helps support young men without fathers. CES is proud to share all of the great work Buzz has achieved for the non-profit in the past 18 years, but the pandemic has made it difficult for Buzz and Team Focus to continue the mission.
“All of the fun social activities we usually do have been killed because of COVID,” said Buzz. “I can’t tour to raise money. I can’t host camps.”
“Due to COVID-19, we have had to cancel our annual fundraising banquets and summer camps with our young men,” added Team Focus Founder Mike Gottfried.
They’ve used virtual resources such as Zoom to stay in touch with members. But it’s not the same, according to Buzz. He hopes these difficult challenges will come to an end in 2021. And while the mission has always been important to Buzz, it’s even more personal now after the recent passing of his father.
“Most men work with me because they have a father wound — either that their fathers were absent or not available. I’m not that guy,” said Buzz. “I grew up with a dad, and he was a part of my life every day. My dad was dear to me, and he passed away just a few months ago. My heart breaks for these men who didn’t have that, and Team Focus has given me the opportunity to help.”
For this City Electric Supply branch manager in Hutto, Texas, it all happened when Mike Gottfried, a renowned former head football coach and game analyst, visited his church back in 2008 to share the story of how and why he started Team Focus. “Growing up without a father around and knowing what that feels like, I have a desire to provide a place for young men to come and be encouraged, motivated and challenged,” said Gottfried.
The story and mission of the non-profit struck a chord with Buzz, and he immediately decided to join the cause. “When he finished talking, I walked straight up to him and said I wanted to help in Austin, Texas,” said Buzz, “and he said — ‘Good. You’re the director.’”
Buzz quickly began impacting the lives of so many young men who needed not only the presence of a father-like figure but also guidance to thrive in life. While setting up summer camps and other events in the area, he met 11-year-old twin boys who were getting into a little trouble in school. “We gave them something else to do,” said Buzz about the impact Team Focus had on the two young men. “I watched them grow — in summer camps and other activities.”
Buzz’s assistance continued even after the two young men graduated from high school — especially when they found themselves in trouble again. “I was able to help,” explained Buzz. “I worked with them and brought in a lawyer to help.”
Not only did Buzz help the young men get out of trouble, but he also helped lead them to a prosperous future. They were so touched by Buzz’s help, that they pursued careers in the electrical business because they said they wanted to “be like their Uncle B.”
They’re currently working in the electrical business and continue to keep in touch with Buzz. The twins are only two of many other young boys whose lives have changed for the better with the guidance of Buzz and Team Focus.
“I think about the discipline that Team Focus gave me — we had great leaders who were the male influence I needed at the time,” said Team Focus alumnus Mario Butler. “Growing up in a home without a father, I really needed that discipline. So, it may have felt a little rough at first, but it was exactly what I needed.”
“My time at the Team Focus camp has been the most amazing week of my life by meeting all the great NCAA and NFL players,” added Aaron Andrew Culp from the Ohio chapter. “This week, I felt really special and that there are people who care for me other than my grandmother who is raising me. I have met a lot of new, great friends.”
The overall success of the program has caught the attention of many — including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Laura Bush.
“My gratitude goes to the Team Focus organizers and mentors who make these terrific camps possible. By instilling the values of service, social responsibility and academic excellence, you give our youth the tools they need to build futures filled with opportunity and faith,” said Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“I’m very glad we met. President Bush and I are grateful for your steadfast commitment to providing positive role models for young men and helping them to develop as leaders. Best wishes for the continued success of Team Focus,” said Laura Bush.
Team Focus to start going back to normal as early as summer 2021 if possible. “We hope to be able to get back to our Summer Leadership Camps this year,” said Gottfried. “Each chapter spends four to five days on a college campus each summer, which include lots of inspirational speeches from community leaders and businessmen, mock interviews, manners, etiquette, formal dining, sports and key teachings, like how to tie a tie.”
Buzz is looking forward to getting back to helping young men like the twins that followed his footsteps into the electrical industry. And everyone at City Electric Supply is beyond proud of what this CES Hutto branch manager has done to impact his community. CES looks forward to all that he will continue to accomplish as a team leader within the CES family and as a mentor to young men in his community.
Team Focus was started by Mike Gottfried and his wife, Mickey, in 2001. Since its inception, Team Focus has seen over 5,000 fatherless young men impacted by the program through individual mentoring, academic support, newsletters, social activities, scholarship activities and leadership camps. Team Focus is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization striving to help fatherless young men ages 10 to 18 develop as leaders to become positive influences in the world.