PAWTUCKET – The Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket welcomed more than 150 friends and supporters to the Alfred Elson Jr. Clubhouse during its second Opening Doors event, celebrating the Club’s ongoing Building Better Futures: Capital & Endowment Campaign.
The Pawtucket Club’s campaign has raised nearly $5.5 million to date.
Club board member Dan Sullivan and his wife Damaris, of Lincoln, served as chairpersons for the Opening Doors event committee. Mayors Donald R. Grebien and James Diossa, of Pawtucket and Central Falls respectively, were honorary chairpersons and delivered greetings from each city. The evening’s emcee was, for the second year, Club Trustee and WJAR-TV NBC 10 news anchor Alison Bologna.
From Club CEO James Hoyt, the Opening Doors guests learned more about the organization's 2014 expansion plans to meet growing program and facility needs and better serve thousands of members from Pawtucket and Central Falls.
After presenting a short video, featuring exuberant Club members, Hoyt said, “That’s what this Club is all about. It’s about the kids. Those we know and those we have yet to meet. We’re here every day to provide what they need: to be safe; to be supported; to be encouraged; and to be inspired. Most of all, our kids feel this is their home away from home, and other members and the staff make up their extended family.”
The Club focuses its youth development efforts in three specific areas: academic success; good character and citizenship; and healthy lifestyles.
All funds raised through the Opening Doors benefited the Campaign. Campaign donations will allow the club to respond to a growing number of local children, teens and their families. Construction of new space will welcome more members while renovation of existing space will help current programs flourish and usher in new programs. Groundbreaking is planned for the spring of 2014.
A newly expanded and renovated Elson Clubhouse will provide a new teen center and gym, centralized visual and performing arts spaces, enhanced education and technology areas, and better functionality in the preteen area. Overall, the project will allow daily attendance to increase from 250 to 500 youth and expand service hours for all members.
The Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket has been serving the community through life-saving programs since 1900, today changing the lives of more than 4,000 local youth and their families while providing hope for the future.