Reno Ballers youth basketball kicks off season on Saturday, Sept. 18

By Mike Wurm, Chief Professional Officer

The start of the Reno Ballers youth basketball season is quickly approaching and we are scheduling the official kickoff to the 2010-11 season for Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010. The event will start at 8 a.m. and concludes with a barbecue and parent meeting at approximately 1 p.m.  Ballers and their families are strongly encouraged to be here on that day – we want to get a lot of quality information out to you.  We have a few changes that you do not want to miss.

Also on Sept. 18, the Ballers will have Adidas shoes present and you will be able to walk away with a brand new Pro Model Adidas team shoe for only $55.  I am sure you will appreciate the value and quality of this shoe.  Of course shoes are not mandatory.  We are simply trying to offer an affordable shoe to all Baller parents at a new level of convenience.

There will be more detail to follow on the Baller Kickoff.  Please save the date on your calendars and plan on being here at the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows and help us kick off this season right!

Boys & Girls Club to host Day for Kids at Sparks Marina

Head down with the entire family as the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows hosts its annual free Day for Kids Saturday, Sept. 25 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Sparks Marina. Join hundreds of children and adults from across northern Nevada in the festivities, which include sports, bounce houses, face painting, free taco lunches, informational vendor booths and more, all designed to encourage adults to develop meaningful relationships with kids by spending a day together.

According to the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health conducted by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration, activities such as sharing a meal with a child are proven to promote family bonding, good eating habits and enhance personal values. Chief Professional Officer of the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows Mike Wurm says Day for Kids is a way for the non-profit organization to provide an outlet for members of the community to revive commitments to children.

“It gives us a great opportunity to provide free and educational activities to the entire community and bring families together in an interactive and fun environment,” he said.

Day for Kids is free to all attendees and begins at 11 a.m. at the Sparks Marina with activities, games and information on local community programs designed to encourage quality, healthy living.  It continues though the afternoon with free lunch, bounce houses, face painting and more, until 2 p.m.

In addition to encouraging the community to join in the fun, the Boys & Girls Club is now accepting applications for review for complimentary vendor space at the event. For information on vendor space at the 9th annual Day for Kids, please contact Erin Pieretti, special events director, at

Day for Kids is an annual nationwide event formed by Boys & Girls Clubs of America as a way to strengthen relationships between adults and children, providing an opportunity to spend meaningful, quality time together.

Operating Engineers tee up for the Club

It was another banner year for the Operating Engineers Local No. 3 charity golf tournament, with proceeds benefitting the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows. The tournament, in its third year associated with the Club, netted more than $7,600 to benefit the Club’s northern Nevada programming.

Steve Ingersoll, district representative for the union, stopped by the Club on Wednesday to drop the check – and despite what we all know has been a tough year for construction, northern Nevada/California industry leaders again stepped up big for kids, exceeding the previous year’s total by a large margin.

This year’s tourney was held at the beautiful D’Andrea golf club in Sparks. The facilities were in tip-top shape, and the roster was full. The Club has always been well supported by construction companies as well as the trades and we are humbled by their generosity.

Thanks again, Operating Engineers Local No. 3

An elegant affair: Date Smart luncheon wraps successful program

Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.

By Suzette McCuster, Education Coordinator

On Aug. 10, the Boys & Girls Club’s Date Smart program had its first Annual Date Smart Luncheon.

Date Smart is designed to help teens develop respectful, supportive relationships through healthy communication and activities with peers. The summer-long session ended with a luncheon served in a sophisticated setting – an exciting new experience for a couple dozen of our teen members.

Formal attire was required, and staff served the culinary fare of our “Executive Chef” Chris Coclich in uniform. The menu was wonderfully prepared, served with elegance and enjoyed by all.

Staff, parents and members are excited to see participation in Smart Moves classes increase. We expect an even bigger turnout for next year – and the kitchen is ready!

>>Check out more photos of the luncheon here.

Club teens clean up

By Kyle Smith, Site Coordinator

SparksTeensVideoCrew2Giving back is a critical component of maintaining healthy communities. Ranging in age from 13 to 18 and hailing from several different schools, Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows teens worked with a video crew from the City of Sparks to document how volunteerism can help our community, especially during difficult financial times.

This dynamic is demonstrated in our relationship with Sparks – the teens at the Club at the Larry D. Johnson Community Center volunteer to clean up Ardmore Park on a regular basis.


While the clean-ups are usually done in smaller groups, a larger group of 26 teen volunteers came out last week to do an annual pickup of the entire property surrounding the Club. Tony Pehle and Kelly Hanson at the City of Sparks have been crucial in maintaining a healthy and accommodating atmosphere for the teens at the Club at LDJ.  As a thank you to those who generously provide to the Club, the teens and staff make it a priority to serve as well.

Boys & Girls Club of Fernley tops 350 members – and growing


By Lauren Soulam, Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows Grants Director

It’s official – the Boys & Girls Club of Fernley is up and running and off to a great start!  Launched on June 7, the Club already has a membership of over 350 youth, far exceeding expectations.  The response from the community has been tremendous, and with additional sites opening up for the school year, membership numbers are only expected to grow from here.

A grant from the E. L. Wiegand Foundation has helped create a fun and lively environment within the Club. Members are welcomed into an upbeat atmosphere that includes pool tables, ping-pong tables, sports equipment, XBOXes, art supplies, board games and much more, all funded by the Foundation.

The Club’s eight-person staff has been busy launching programs like SMART Moves and Leaders in Training as well as taking members on field trips all over the area.  The biggest surprise has been the popularity of the teen program.  Averaging between 20 and 30 members daily, the teens are eager to get involved and make the Club their own.  They’re even looking for ways to give back to their community, including bi-weekly trips to the food bank to hand out food.

As we look forward to the new school year, our staff is excited, our members are enthusiastic, and the pump is primed for a fantastic program for the young people of Fernley.

This week the club held a free Day in the Park event with bounce houses, a barbecue and fun and games for members, future members and parents. Check out the photos of Tuesday’s event here or click the gallery below.

Thanks University of Phoenix for the supplies!

Reno’s University of Phoenix students and employees filled up the back of a Boys & Girls Club truck with donated school supplies to be distributed to and be used by Club members in the K-12 system as they go back to school this fall. The supplies, ranging from backpacks, to notepads pens and paper – and everything in between – are appreciated, and will give these children the much-needed materials to help them focus on learning.

The University organized a donation drive in conjunction with its students on the Northern Nevada campus, located at 10345 Professional Circle in Reno.

“It is partnerships like the one we have with the University of Phoenix that enable our Club to give kids the tools they need to succeed in school and life,” said Mike Wurm, the Club’s chief professional officer. “We all know that families and schools are under increasing financial pressure and it’s great when the community reaches out to provide a little bit of relief.”

World-renowned jugglers bring show to Boys & Girls Club

The International Jugglers’ Association stopped by the Club’s Ninth Street facility to put on a clinic and show for some of the kids in our summer program this week.

The association was visiting Sparks for its annual convention at John Ascuaga’s Nugget … and this free show featured some of the world’s best jugglers.

Thanks International Juggers’ Association for teaching our kids how to juggle and how the pros do it!

> Click here for more photos

Celebrating a life well lived


Tavares exemplified the ‘Boys & Girls Club way’

When Thelma Tavares passed away last week, the Boys & Girls Club family lost a member. Practically since its inception, the Club has been home to the Reno Jets boxing club, started by Thelma and her late-husband Ray, and operated by Thelma after his passing in 1999.

July 6, family, friends and dozens of the kids whose lives Thelma and Ray touched over the years gathered for her service, and a memorial at the Club’s Ninth Street location. The Tavares family coached thousands of young boxers and took in more than 160 foster children into their Reno home. Thelma was a larger than life character and a true Reno original.

View photos from Tuesday’s memorial here

Get your boat ready … Star-Spangled Sparks is here

It’s Fourth of July weekend, time to fire up the barbecue, get out in the sun and get your boat ready …

Star-Spangled Sparks, the Celebration City’s annual show of patriotism, takes place July 3-4 2010 at Sparks Marina with countless activities, including the Model Dairy Milk Carton Parade of Boats and Boat Races. A bunch of Club kids will be on hand for the events, and we will even have a couple staff boat entries (pictured). See you there!

Star-Spangled Sparks calendar of events:

Saturday, July 3

  • 4-8 p.m. Boat Registration “Model Dairy Milk Carton Boat Races” & Vendors Set-Up

Sunday, July 4

  • 6: a.m. FREE Tethered Hot Air Balloon Rides; Pancake Breakfast by Kiwanis Club of North Valleys, Reno – $3 (all you can eat)
  • 8 a.m. Fun/Run/Walk (pre-register @ 353-2385)
  • 9 a.m. Model Dairy Milk Carton Parade of Boats & Boat Races; Boat-Building Demo
  • 9 a.m. KOZZ–CUB COUNTRY-KDOT; ESPN-Fox Sports; Kids Radio Prize Air Booth
  • 10 a.m. Opening Ceremony; Military Helicopter; Entertainment
  • 11 a.m. Sparks’ Got Talent
  • 3 p.m. Event at the Marina Closes

To download a PDF brochure of event information, click here.