Martha & Sen. Carper Praise Milford B&G Club

Staff Report

The Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club held An Evening of Cocktails and Conversation on Friday, November 15 to kickoff their 2014 Annual Fund Campaign. With sponsors including Dogfish Head, Troops Barbecue and Abbott’s Grill, guests enjoyed local cuisines and libations while listening to live entertainment from Milford performer Jason Beale. Addressing the group for the evening, on the importance of the Boys & Girls Club was former Delaware First Lady Martha Carper and U.S. Senator Tom Carper.

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. Friday’s event highlighted activities at the Club for both children and adults and focused on their Annual Fund Campaign, which generates annual operating support from individuals and businesses that will enable Club staff to continue to provide quality program services to over 250 area youth. 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.

Martha Carper, President of the Delaware Boys & Girls Club Corporate Board and former Delaware First Lady, was the guest speaker for the evening and discussed the impact the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club has on our the Milford community.

“Just like the saying that all politics is local, it is the same for the Boys & Girls Club,” commented Mrs. Carper. “It is the work that you all do locally through this organization that will pay off in the future with the kids that you serve.”

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United States Senator Tom Carper was also in attendance and addressed guests on the importance of the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club in the lives of local youth in the Milford area.

“There are so many kids, as you know, that do not have anyone in their lives,” commented Senator Carper. “For many of these kids the Boys & Girls Club is the place where they have opportunities to experience great role models, focus on their education, exercise and all kinds of programs. Although they may really not have much going on at home, the Boys & Girls Club is a chance to change their lives.”

While enjoying live entertainment and local food and drink, 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 their multiple classrooms. In addition to providing daily guidance and mentoring, the club offers structured programming throughout the year which has supported to improved academic performance and attendance of Milford Club kids in local elementary, middle and high schools.

According to Director Tod VanEyken, the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club provides over $46,000 per year in financial scholarships, which is 20% of their annual budget. VanEyken stated that the Annual Fund Campaign assists local families by creating some form of financial assistance for more than seventy percent of the children currently enrolled in the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club.

“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.”

In an effort to establish the Milford Club as a community center in the Greater Milford Area, in addition to serving school-aged children, the Club has recently expanded its facility and services to include a full size fitness center, adult basketball and pickleball leagues and water aerobic classes. The Richard Y. Johnson Aquatic Center is also home to the Milford High School Buccaneers Swim Team, the Club’s own Milford Marlins Swim Team and is the only Boys & Girls Club in Delaware to offer swimming scholarships through the Michael Phelps Foundation. These community services are made available to Greater Milford Area residents year-round through support from the Annual Fund Campaign.

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.

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