Boys & Girls Club Celebrates Six Years

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5A staple in the Milford community for several decades, the Boys & Girls Club celebrated their sixth year in their new location off Airport Road in January. 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.

The Milford Boys & Girls Club began its partnership with the community in their downtown location on Front Street. Although the facility served the Club well, the Board of Directors desired a space where kids could be introduced to more activities including a swimming pool and a full size gymnasium. The seed of an idea had been planted and it would be up to the Board of Directors to find a new location, increase awareness for the need and raise funds. With a capital campaign led by Bob Voshell, Chairman of the campaign, and Kate Marvel, President of the Board of Directors, an unprecedented $7 million was raised to build the 36,000 square foot facility that now stands off Airport Road in Milford. The capital campaign included a group of community leaders including David Burton, Ed Steiner, Richard Johnson, Linda Chick and Taube Carpenter.

The new location in the Independence Commons industrial park was suggested by City Manager Richard Carmean. This location allowed for growth and a working partnership with Milford Parks & Recreation, who maintained fields for youth and adult sports leagues.

“The opportunity would allow our club kids to utilize the park fields and allow the parks and recreation kids to utilize our club building, the partnership was the primary factor,” commented George Krupanski, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware. “The Milford Club is one of the largest in the state of Delaware. Only four others have swimming pools. The club has received national recognition for its award winning programs.”

In addition to providing daily guidance and mentoring, the Club offers structured programming throughout the year which has supported improved academic performance and attendance of Milford Club kids in local elementary, middle and high schools. According to Director Tod Van Eyken, the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club provides over $46,000 per year in financial scholarships, which is 5% of their annual budget. Van Eyken 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 Van Eyken. “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.