Boys and Girls Club of Pasadena Wine Auction Raised $75,000 To Keep Summer Programs Vibrant, Going Strong

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From STAFF REPORTS

9:51 am | May 18, 2017


The Boys and Girls Club of Pasadena successfully raised $75,000 at its first annual wine auction event last Saturday which not only gave generous locals the opportunity to sample great food and drink and purchase rare and unique wines from around the world, but it also ensured the City’s youth will have a variety of valuable summer programs this year.

Successful fundraisers like the wine auction indicate that the Boys and Girls Club continues to remain as a popular go-to after school program–even after 80 years in Pasadena–that relies on the community’s dedication to keep its doors open and services available.

“Great Futures Start Here. We know that kids who come to the Club have a much brighter future. We know the Boys & Girls Club works,” said Committee Chairman and Board Member, Michael Hatch.

The Boys & Girls Club operates two sites in Pasadena—the Slavik Branch at 3230 East Del Mar Blvd. and the Mackenzie-Scott Branch at 2020 North Fair Oaks Ave.—and serves more than 2,500 community youth year-round from Pasadena and the nearby communities of South Pasadena, Alhambra, San Marino, Arcadia, Sierra Madre, La Canada, La Crescenta, Montrose, and Glendale.

Since 1937, the mission of the Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena has been to enable all young people, especially those who need it most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

The Club promotes the health, education, social, vocational, and character development of boys and girls, ages 6 to 18, and helps improve the lives of these children by helping them build self-assurance and develop leadership skills while reinforcing positive values.

“One of the goals of the wine auction was to help bring the Pasadena community together in a new way to give them something new and different and to see first hand how members in the community really contribute to the success of our kids,” said Boys and Girls Club of Pasadena President and CEO Brian Davis.

Currently, only three percent of the Clubs operating budget comes from membership fees thanks to the generosity of Pasadena donors and various grants.

About 60 percent of members come from low income families, according to Davis.

“On any given school day we’re serving about 360 kids,” said Davis who mentioned that those daily number surge up to 800 during the summer.

The Club offers 64 programs throughout the year that range from music lessons, to sign language to coding and robotics and a state of the art compute lab.

Both of the locations offer indoor heated swimming pools that are used daily for swimming lessons and the official Boys and Girls Club swim team.

“Nobody else in our area has a program like that,” said Davis.

According to Davis, 35 percent of members are teenagers.

“Most of them don’t have to come to the Club,” explained Davis who said that extracurricular school activities, jobs and parents being home at earlier times are common scenarios for teenagers to be elsewhere.

“There’s a lot of competition for their attention and yet we still get about a hundred teenagers a day in our two teen centers that are only for kids age thirteen and above,” explained Davis.

The teen centers offer workshops related to certain life skills and decision making, college and career readiness programs, tutoring support and more.

The Pasadena Boys and Girls Club is affiliated with the national organization, The Boys and Girls Club of America,

“They do a lot of really strong curriculum development and help us create great engaging programs that we can measure and ensure success in. The also help us with various partnerships,” said Davis.

For example, the Slavik Branch in East Pasadena is the home to a partnership with the University of California to provide students with after hours access to the Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP) which helps prepare students for University of California admissions.

“One of the things we know is that if you’re preparing for University of California admissions in such rigorous standards, it can help you get into almost any college,” said Davis. “That’s something we do unique that you’re not going to find in other after school programs.”
The Club has always had a popular presence among Pasadena youth and even more so during its early years decades ago.

During the 1950s the Club band had over 4,000 members, according to Davis.

“Now today, a lot of things have changed in that dynamic,” said Davis.

Main changes are commonly associated with the growth of public funding for afterschool programs.

“Families have more opportunities like never before,” said Davis.

However, getting membership numbers up can be challenging for the Boys and Girls Club considering the two locations are offsite from school campuses, often making it a challenge for students to get there despite shuttle services that are available at 19 PUSD schools.

“The biggest disadvantage is that we are not on school campuses. Being able to come up with new and creative ways to get kids into the Club is one of the challenges we face, but I would say that one of the reasons we’ve been around for eighty years is because of how unique the program offering is. A number of multi-generations of families still come through our doors,” said Davis.

Going forward the Club is looking into developing more community partnerships to continue to grow program offerings.

“If we were to go back 75 years, we were a behemoth and we were the only program available. Today, there’s so many different options for young people and what we want to do if find the best way to connect the network and give kids those opportunities to prepare them for their great futures,” said Davis.

According to Davis, more low income families and families in general live centrally in Pasadena today than in the mid century.

“That would be another opportunity for us if we could be a little bit more centrally located throughout and maybe have another clubhouse or school-based programming to bring our programming and our eighty years of experience and our fundraising successes to be able to support more young people in Pasadena,” said Davis.

For more information and to donate to the Boys and Girls Club of Pasadena, go to http://www.bgcpasadena.org.