BG Club opens doors

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 19, 2005

Blue sky and bright sunlight greeted well wishers, city and county officials and leaders of the new Boys & Girls Club as it celebrated its grand opening.

Over 150 people were on hand to tour the facility that has been over a year in the making and the dream of local resident, Mary Thompson.

&uot;Today is possible because of our Lord and Savior,&uot; Thompson told those assembled.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;It is possible because of His Grace. Don’t let this be the last time that we see many of you because it takes volunteers to make these work.&uot;

The ribbon cutting is the culmination of a year of work by area residents and officials with the Boy’s & Girls Club.

Linda Cook-Hamilton, president of the Butler County Board of Education presided over the ceremony held Tuesday morning.

&uot;I’m pleased today to see this as we open a positive place for children,&uot; she said.

&uot;What a glorious day.&uot;

Executive Director Ceddrick Williams thanked the many kind acts of city and county leaders during his remarks.

&uot;This has been possible because of the leadership of Greenville City Council and the Butler County Commission,&uot; Williams said.

&uot;You took us in and made us welcome. I cannot say enough about how good Mayor Dexter McLendon has been to us.&uot;

Williams said this the ninth Boys & Girls Club in this area and that it will be a positive for the area’s children.

&uot;This is for our children because they are 50 percent of our population and 400 percent of our future,&uot; he said.

He went on to say the people of the area have made the opening simply the best.

&uot;This has been the easiest Boys & Girls Club to put together because of you all,&uot; he said.

Mayor ProTem Jeddo Bell expressed his pleasure in the Boys & Girls Club finally opening.

&uot;This is a good thing for them to come here to Greenville,&uot; he said.

&uot;It is going to be a program to emphasize social skills as well as educational skills.&uot;

Bell said the club also offers parents a safe environment for childcare during the summer months, regardless of who they are.

&uot;They can bring their children here and know they are being cared for as well as spending their time learning,&uot; he said.

&uot;This program is for everybody and not just a few.&uot;

He said the City of Greenville wants to see the club succeed.

&uot;I know that I can speak for Mayor McLendon when I say that he thinks highly of this organization and wants to see it succeed,&uot; he said.

The mission of the Boys and Girls Club is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America had its beginnings in 1860 with several women in Hartford, Conn. Believing that boys who roamed the streets should have a positive alternative, they organized the first Club. A cause was born.

In 1906, several Boys Clubs decided to affiliate. The Federated Boys Clubs in Boston was formed with 53 member organizations.

In 1931, the Boys Club Federation of America became Boys Clubs of America.

In 1956, Boys Clubs of America celebrated its 50th anniversary and received a U.S. Congressional Charter.

To recognize the fact that girls are a part of our cause, the national organization’s name was changed to Boys & Girls Clubs of America in 1990. Accordingly, Congress amended and renewed our chart