Message from Executive Director, Mike Wurm –
The Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows is heading into its fortieth year of serving the youth of northern Nevada. Over the past four decades, what started as a few dozen boys in a makeshift Clubhouse on Terminal Way has transformed into the largest youth-serving organization in the region. This year, the Club will serve nearly 14,000 youth at 20 sites in Reno, Sparks and Fernley.
Forty is a big milestone, and it is incredible the way the community has rallied around the Boys & Girls Club. Without the support of so many people over the years, we would not be here today to celebrate this anniversary.
Because of the support of the northern Nevada community, the Club continues to be a vital resource for local youth. The 20 Club locations serve urban, suburban and rural neighborhoods, with sites spanning the Truckee Meadows from Lemmon Valley to Neil Road and Verdi to Fernley. The Club has youth centers for the six to 12-year-olds, teen centers for the 13 to 18 crowd, and even the E. L. Wiegand Early Learning Center for little ones six weeks to five years, including an all-day kindergarten.
The Club offers dozens of programs, activities and special events for young people, from afterschool tutoring to sports leagues to leadership clubs. Every program focuses on one of five core areas: Education & Career Development; Sports, Fitness & Recreation; Character & Leadership Development; Health & Life Skills; and the Arts. Together, these programs help kids grow into educated, contributing, well-rounded adults.
We have a proven formula for success. Our programs are a great hybrid of national models customized to meet the unique needs of our local kids. Of course, if you ask Club members what they like about the Club, they are not going to talk about evidence-based program models. They will tell you it is fun, and that we have an amazing staff.
More Growth on the Horizon
With forty years under the belt and tens of thousands of youth impacted, one might think the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows has reached its pinnacle. Not so, as we are constantly looking for ways to bring the Club to new neighborhoods and new kids. There is always a need. But we are very intentional about our growth. Our Board is diligent to make sure every new growth opportunity makes sense and is sustainable long-term.
One such growth opportunity occurred in 2014 as the Club opened the new William N. Pennington Facility. Located on Foster Drive in Reno, the facility celebrated its one-year anniversary this past June, and it is already operating near capacity, serving nearly 300 youth every day. It is clear from the site’s high level of use that this facility is filling an important need in this neighborhood.
Another significant growth opportunity is now in the works for a Boys & Girls Club on Bresson Avenue in Reno. The Club first started working at the Bresson site in 2014, and since that time, attendance has skyrocketed. The site now serves 75 to 100 youth every day. But the aging, dilapidated facility is in need of major improvements to better serve the community. The Club is in the process of making that happen, which would allow the Club to serve even more of the local six to 12-year-old population as well as further develop a teen program to serve students from Vaughn Middle School, which is right across the street.
The Bresson facility is in a neighborhood with a high need for our services. About 2,000 kids live nearby, and 95 percent of them qualify for free or reduced lunch. If there’s a place in Reno for a Boys & Girls Club, this is it, and our team is working hard to make sure this project happens for the kids in this area.
Once this project is complete, it is hard to say where the Boys & Girls Club will head next, but there is no doubt that growth will continue. Our ultimate goal is to put ourselves out of a job. Once every single kid in our region has everything they need to thrive, there will not be a need for the Boys & Girls Club. But until then, we have work to do.
Thank you for your continued support of the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows.