About Us

OUR MISSION

To inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens.

 

 Our History

 Since its very beginning, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County has been about helping  children help themselves. This concept has  not changed in 50 years, but has evolved  with the passing of the years as the torch was handed down from one generation to the  next. 
 When the Board of Directors of the Boys Club of Richmond met for the first time Boys  Club of Richmond in early June of 1957, it was  with a clear mission in mind – helping the  young men of Richmond find a healthier way of life.
 That nine-member group met at what was then Fire Station 4 at the corner of South 9th  and "E” Streets. In that meeting, Ray Smith,  Earl Mayer, Troy Woolf, Don McBride, Lester  Williams, Harvey Therrien, Guy Alexander, Police Chief Dan Mitrione and Sheriff Edward  Cordell laid the foundation for what the club has become today.
 Other Board members, many of whom are no longer with us, have served the club  diligently through the years. Those individuals  include Hector Vioni, Joe Barker, Robert W.  Rosa, Harry Hoff, Stanley Gehr, Richard Barth, Marion Coulter and Gus Hoelscher.
 They named Jim Rendel from Earlham College as the group’s first Executive Director,  envisioning a facility that would serve 150 boys  from Richmond. But within four years,  the club had grown from the original four members to more than 200. Clearly they were  bursting at the seams and something needed to be done .The Board of Directors began  looking at options that would help the club  serve the growing number of interested boys.
 During this time, while a new building drive was in its infancy stages, Board President Guy  Alexander struck a deal with a business  acquaintance to purchase 169 acres of land near  Connersville. With lots of open space and the Whitewater River running through it,  the  property was transformed into a camp for boys. The organization quickly named the  space "Camp Guy” in honor of its donor.  Summer Camp activities are now held at this  multi-acre complex.
 But the need for a bigger space to use in the fall and winter months still existed and  Rendel and company took their case to the public  in late 1962. Their goal – to raise  $75,000 to construct a new building on South 8th and "N” Streets. Ground was broken on  the new  facility on April 7, 1963 with Judge G.H. Hoelscher and Mayor Roland Cutter  doing the honors. The doors opened on the new facility  the following year, and the  number of boys attending the new Boys Club of Richmond quickly tripled to more than  600 youngsters. 
 The same year, Rendel left Richmond to take a job in Terre Haute and West Virginia  native John Brzuzy became the organization’s  second Executive Director. As the  Executive Director of the Boys Club from August 1964 until January 1993, John played  an  instrumental role in the development of the club into its current form. John remained  with the club as Executive Director until 1993  when illness forced him to retire. We at the  Boys & Girls Clubs feel a lot of that credit has to go to John. Without his 30 years of  service  to the city of Richmond, the club would not be enjoying the success it is today.
 Six years later, spurred by a $12,000 donation from Mr. and Mrs. E. Harrison Scott Jr.,  another capital campaign was completed during  the tenure of Board President James R.  Daggy. The existing building was added onto and the name was officially changed to the  Scott Boys Club of Richmond on Nov. 6, 1969. As the club, the city of Richmond and  indeed the entire country were moving forward in  the 70s and 80s, there was a push by  many to change the charter of the club to include girls as well as boys.There were many  problems, however, not the least of which was the recurring problem of space  limitations. There were also some who preferred  keeping the club a male-only  atmosphere.But the club indeed moved forward under the direction of its third executive  director, Bruce  Daggy, who took over the reins of the organization in March 1993 and is  still at the head of the organization.
 In 1999, the organization officially opened the Boys & Girls Club at Central, an off-site unit  located at Central United Methodist Church  on E. Main Street. The addition of this unit  allowed girls to become involved with the club for the first time. A year later – the Board  voted on Sept. 25 and the official Secretary of State amendment was on Oct. 30 – the  official name of the organization was changed  to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne  County, Indiana, Inc., reflecting the club’s willingness to serve children of both sexes in  not just  Richmond, but the entire county. It also stressed the fact that the club now had  more than just the one location.
 With the increasing number of girls added to our membership, we found ourselves once  again at a cross road and in need of a larger  facility. After more than 450 donors pledged  funds for the new building, from individuals to corporations to foundations, the club’s  original campaign goal was not only met, but exceeded its goal. The generous $500,000  contribution from Richard E. Jeffers helped  complete the campaign and ensured the  future of the youth of Wayne County. The construction of our new $3.1 million Richard E.  Jeffers Unit opened in December 2003. Situated on a 7.5 acre property, this 32,823-  square foot facility enables our organization to  serve year-round, over 1500 youth  annually.
 In 2009, the Fairview Unit opened at Fairview Elementary School, serving more than 150  youth after school. With the demand for  services through out Wayne County, in 2010 the  Hagerstown Unit was opened in Hagerstown Elementary School. The Boys & Girls  Clubs  has now grown into a youth development powerhouse, serving more than 2500 youth  annually throughout Wayne County at  four Units and at Camp Guy. We continue to open  doors for youth. We can truly say, Great Futures Start Here!

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