On Friday, June 14, the Boys and Girls Club of Elgin, which serves more than 1400 community youth, revealed a new state of the art teen center. The new center, which was brought to fruition through the generous efforts of the Mary Gardner Foundation and the Junior Service Board, features a music station with guitars, drums, and keyboard, as well as several new iPad Mini's, a 3D television, library, gaming consoles, and lounging area. The new center makes the Boys and Girls Club of Elgin not only the "positive place for kids," but also a fun, inviting, and modern place for youth to truly receive the guidance, support, and recognition that our youth today both need and deserve.
As a result of the new center, club officials are projecting teen attendance to double at the clubhouse on a daily basis. "We are humbled by the generosity of the Mary Gardner Foundation. The thoughtfulness and belief in our mission made a dream come true Friday, as was apparent in the teens' faces as they entered their new center. A special thank you to Chris Lemcke at the foundation, she truly is an advocate for youth!" noted Cathy Malkani, Executive Director at the Boys & Girls Club.
Friday saw some fifty local teens and many others come out to see the new space. Prior to the reveal of the new teen center, staff, conjoined with youth, parents, and community leaders celebrated with a barbecue and dance party. From the looks on the faces of teens, in conjunction with abundant smiles and laughter that accompanied the evening last Friday, it is safe to assume that the teen center will continue to be a hit amongst all.
The mission of the Boys & Girls Club is to inspire all young people, especially those that need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. The Boys & Girls Club is open Monday through Friday and serves over 350 young people every day in seven locations. For over 20 years, the Boys & Girls Club has offered daily programming that has resulted in academic success, leading healthier lifestyles, and building character and leadership in the members served. Members pay only $25 a year to belong and as one teen members said, "I used to believe that my home was in the Principal's office because I was there almost every day, until I was STRONGLY encouraged to attend the Boys & Girls Club. Now the Club is my home because it is where I choose to be every day. "