…I would definitely beg my parents to let me go hang out at the Boys and Girls Club of the Souhegan Valley . The Boys and Girls Club is THE place for kids from Pre-K through high school to enjoy a variety of enriching programs. The Boys and Girls Club began much smaller than it is today in the Grange Hall, and grew as business leaders and those in the local community recognized that the services were provided by the club were in greater need. Their current location began as just the American Stage Festival. It was purchased by the Amato family and donated to the club in 2004. It was expanded and opened in 2005. Since then, they have continued to add on and grown it to the beautiful facility that the Boys and Girls Club operates out of today. The Boys and Girls Club is a non-profit which enables all young people, especially those who need them most, to be great today and to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens tomorrow. They serve communities in the Souhegan Valley including: Milford, Hollis, Amherst, Brookline, Mont Vernon, Peterborough, New Ipswich, Lyndeborough, and Wilton.
The programs are funded through program revenue, and largely by grants and fundraising. They serve hundreds of students per day through before and after school programs that help to enrich individuals and help them to reach their fullest potential. From opportunities for teens, to dance, homework opportunities, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) activities, and drug prevention, the Boys and Girls Club has it all and is making a hugely positive impact in the lives of our (now) children and (future) adults that make up our local community! Programs include activities focused in five core areas:
- Health & Life Skills
- Character & Leadership
- Education & Career Development
- Sports, Fitness and Recreation
- Cultural Arts
For this Tuesday on the Town, I met with Mike Goodwin, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club, to ask him more about the many ways they implement their core values of Integrity, Leadership, Teamwork, Community, Respect, and Fun into the lives of our youth.
What Do You Like About Living and Working in the Souhegan Valley?
Mike said that the Boys and Girls Club is lucky to be based in a supportive community that recognizes the value and benefit in what they are offering. The region has been generous in supporting the Boys and Girls Club and receptive to all of the impact that the Club has on our local workforce and economy (ie. training the workforce of the future in life skills, and helping parents now get back to work and contribute financially to the economy). He likes living here because of the beautiful, family-friendly part of the state he gets to enjoy. It is clean, safe, and a great place to raise a family and kids!
How Has the Boys and Girls Club Benefitted from Being Members of the SVCC?
The Boys and Girls Club is an invaluable resource to so many of the Souhegan Valley Chamber of Commerce members and feels reciprocally about so many of the other members as well! Mike told me that the Chamber has been a great resource for networking and learning about other businesses in our region. Many support and partner with the Boys and Girls Club. Spinal Corrective Center recently held an Anniversary Party in the Boys and Girls Club’s new 7,500 sq. ft. gymnasium, the 4th Annual Community Health and Wellness Fair (May 12, 2018) is also in the gymnasium, and the Boys and Girls Club will be holding their 2018 Youth of the Year and Community Awards Dinner at LaBelle Winery on April 4th. At this dinner, they will celebrate the rising young leaders of the Souhegan Valley and teens who are inspired to lead and succeed, as well as some special adults in the community. All are welcome to come cheer on those who will be getting awards!
I really enjoyed meeting Mike and all of the extremely friendly staff at the Boys and Girls Club in Milford. I cannot say enough about all of the positive impacts they are making in the lives of our young people and it is so exciting to know that there is a place kids can go where reaching and discovering their utmost potential is strongly encouraged. Mike and his staff were shy about giving me a fun fact, so I am going to share some with you instead :)!
- I used to do Toastmaster’s at the Boys and Girls Club circa (10 years ago) –we met in nearly every room (the gymnasium was not yet built then) and when I was getting a tour this week, it brought back a lot of positive memories!
- My highschool used to use the Boys and Girls Club gym (when it was located by Planet Fitness (now) / Sears (then)) as a gym for our own sports!
- Avery at the Boys and Girls Club gave me an awesome new T-Shirt which I will wear as soon as the weather warms up enough to wear short sleeves again!
Thank you to Mike and the fabulous staff at the Boys and Girls Club of the Souhegan Valley for all you do and are!