The Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club hosted their annual Evening of Cocktails and Conversation on Friday, November 6 as they kicked off the 2016 Annual Fund Campaign. With sponsors including Mispillion River Brewing, Abbott’s Grill, Meding’s Seafood Restaurant, Chick-Fil-A and Arena’s Deli & Bar, guests enjoyed local cuisine and libations while listening to live entertainment and touring the Club.
A staple in the Milford community for several decades, the Boys & Girls Club will be celebrating their eighth 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 the organization’s 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.
At this year’s event, Director Tod Van Eyken welcomed guests and discussed the recent success that the Club has experienced, driven by the Board of Directors and local community. “We had a great year financially as a result of a new reinvigorated Board and Volunteers. We had a great Bowl-A-Thon, a record breaking Kids Fest and an awesome Inaugural Run the Goat 5K,” said Van Eyken. “Additionally staff worked very hard to deliver an outstanding program while coming in on budget for the first time since we moved into the new building. All these combined have allowed us to serve even more children in the Milford community.”
While enjoying live entertainment and local food and drink, visitors to the club took a tour of the facility which highlighted 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 Van Eyken, the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club provides over $46,000 per year in financial scholarships, which is 4% 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 Tod Van Eyken, at 302-422-4453 or TVanEyken@bgclubs.org. For more information on the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club, individuals are encouraged to visit the Club online on Facebook at Milford BG Clubs.