B&G Club Celebrates After School Programs

State Senator Gary Simpson and Director of the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club Tod VanEyken with kids at the Lights On Afterschool program.
State Senator Gary Simpson and Director of the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club Tod VanEyken with kids at the Lights On Afterschool program.

The Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club recently held their Lights On Afterschool celebration, highlighting the importance of afterschool programs for school-aged children. Programs at the Club are geared toward helping kids develop into productive, responsible, and caring citizens. The Milford club is aimed at changing the lives of not only the children who attend every day but also their families and the community at large.

In addition to providing daily guidance and mentoring, the club offers structured programming throughout the year. According to Tod VanEyken, Director of the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club, many of the children the Club serves have improved academic performance and attendance, and are significantly more likely to complete high school and college as a result of Club programs.

“Unfortunately there have decreases in school funding over the last several years and we want to be able to expose these kids to arts, technology and sports,” commented Van Eyken. “The Boys and Girls Club will be there to replace these structured programs for the schools if the need is there. At the end of the day it is all about how we at the Boys and Girls Club impact the kids and the community we serve”

The Lights on After School Celebration showcased Club kids through talents including singing, the arts and a karate demonstration. Visitors to the club were taken on a tour of the facility highlighting the pool at the Richard Y. Johnson Aquatic Center, fitness center, gymnasium, computer lab and multiple classrooms. First time visitor to the newly built club, terri Hudson was surprised by the growth of the facility from its previous location in downtown Milford.

“I was really impressed with the Boys and Girls Club, the state of the art facility absolutely provides a safe and positive environment for kids to hang out,” commented Terri Hudson after a tour of the facility. “There are so many fun things to do but only after homework is completed. The best part is it gives a lot of the children a place to go when many would be going home to an empty house.”

A staple in the Milford community for several decades, the Boys & Girls Club will be celebrating their fifth year in their new location off Airport Road in January. The event will also highlight the 2014 Annual Fund Campaign which focuses on generating annual operating support from individuals and businesses that will enable Club staff to continue to provide quality program services to over 250 area youth.

According to Director Tod VanEyken, the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club also provides over $46,000 per year in financial scholarships, which is 20% of their annual budget. More than seventy percent of the children currently enrolled receive some level of financial assistance.

“These scholarships are essential to grow our enrollment and fulfill our mission to inspire and enable all young people,” commented VanEyken. “We encourage all of our kids to realize their potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens.”

Businesses and individuals interested in supporting the Annual Fund Campaign should contact Margaux Azzanesi, Regional Development Director at (302) 422-4453 or mazzanesi@bgclubs.org. For more information on the Greater Milford Boys & Girls club individuals are encouraged to visit the Club online at http://bgclubs.org/page155812/greater-milford-boys-girls-club.aspx.