Since 1976, the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows has helped build great futures for thousands of Northern Nevada youth with everything from before- and after-school programs, to sports leagues, education and healthy meals. The Club operates at 20 locations in northern Nevada.

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Club Stories

The Pennington Facility is Alive

Fall 2014 Update

A message from Executive Director, Mike Wurm 

BnGClubReno12On June 16, 2014, the Boys & Girls Club’s William N. Pennington Facility opened to the community. The project was many years in the making. After more than 60 years serving the community, the YMCA of the Sierra closed its doors 2008, and the historic property at 1300 Foster Drive sat vacant for over five years. The Pennington Foundation’s generous seed gift launched the project in late 2012, followed quickly by the donation of the property to the Boys & Girls Club by the City of Reno and the incredible support of foundations, corporations and individuals. Many went above and beyond to make this project possible. Today, we are pleased to report that the results of this generosity have gone above and beyond some of our most optimistic expectations.


Keeping the construction work local was a priority. This began with the architect, where two local professionals at Architecture Design designed the facility from start to finish. After a thorough competitive bid process, we selected Reno-based United Construction as the project’s general contractor. United’s overall costs and willingness to value engineer wherever feasible earned them the job. Using entirely local subs, the team at United did a fantastic job and delivered as promised, money-wise and time-wise. As with any construction project, we ran into some hiccups along the way, but there were no significant delays. As planned, the building opened just in time for summer programming.

Despite high levels of use over the summer, the building looks as good as it did on the day it opened. Using lessons learned from the major renovation at our Donald W. Reynolds Facility on East 9th Street in 2004, we were able to engineer the facility to withstand the heavy usage of our kids. Simple changes like durable door hinges and higher windows will keep the building looking as good as new for years to come.


Initial estimates for Pennington Facility usage was a few hundred youth, perhaps growing to 300 youth daily during the summer. It didn’t take long to far exceed these goals.  After the first week, we saw as many as 350 youth per day. As awareness grew about the new Club throughout the summer, we continued to grow, with daily attendance peaking on occasion at more than 600 youth. Indeed, attendance grew so quickly that it became a challenge to maintain adequate staffing.  At multiple points during the summer, we were forced to add additional staff to maintain proper child to staff ratios.  Today, we have 1,430 registered members at the William N. Pennington Facility.

We are especially pleased to report membership at the Pennington Facility has had minimal impact on other Club sites. In fact, the Donald W. Reynolds Facility also served record numbers of youth this summer. This means the children attending the Pennington Facility are primarily brand new to the Boys & Girls Club. While we were confident of the need for youth services in the Foster Drive community, even Club leadership was surprised at the number of children pouring through our doors each day.

With the new school year now underway, attendance has slowed down somewhat. Through the first month of school, we’ve seen an average daily attendance of 250 youth.  The school year typically brings in a different group of youth than summer and school breaks. As with the summer, we expect membership to grow over the coming weeks as parents are made aware of our before and after school programs. Plus, with the start of our basketball leagues this winter, we expect another spike in attendance.

We have also begun our transportation program for the school year, which provides busing from nearby schools to the Pennington Facility after school. We originally planned to bus from 10 schools but have increased that number to 14 to meet demand (Caughlin Ranch Elementary, Elmcrest Elementary, Warner Elementary, Honors Academy, Hunter Lake Elementary, Jessie Beck Elementary, Mamie Towles Elementary, Mt. Rose Elementary, Peavine Elementary, Roy Gomm Elementary, Billinghurst Middle, Clayton Middle, Swope Middle, and McQueen High).


Since 2008, the Boys & Girls Club has operated the E. L. Wiegand Early Learning Center, which serves children from six weeks to six years, including a full-day kindergarten program. Located adjacent to the Pennington Facility at 1270 Foster Drive, the Center is currently operated as a partnership between the Boys & Girls Club, the E. L. Wiegand Foundation and the City of Reno. The Club funds the Center’s regular operating expenses as well as facility upgrades through program fees and fundraising efforts.  With the Center next door to the Pennington Facility, we have created a unique full-service youth campus where a child can receive services and support from infancy through high school graduation at a single site.

The Pennington Facility has proven to be an ideal marketing tool for the Center. Since the Pennington grand opening, the Center has consistently operated at or near capacity. We’ve also been able to share resources between the two facilities. We’ve combined our food program so that Center meals are now prepared in the spacious Pennington kitchen. We’ve also relocated our kindergarten class to the Pennington Facility, which has opened up an additional 30 spots for pre-K children at the Center.


The project’s original budget was $14,673,000. Per Pennington Foundation and self-imposed requirements, this figure included demolition and construction costs, a one million dollar maintenance reserve fund, the first two years of operating expenses and funds for key infrastructure upgrades.

As with most construction projects, additional expenses became apparent as building began. Facility upgrades like field turf in the backyard, a radiant heat system under the front walkway and the addition of a second story added an additional $527,000, bringing our final budget to $15,200,000.

Thanks to the generosity of our community, we were able to meet this goal through cash and pledges this summer. Of course, it is not enough to simply build a new facility; we must be able to sustain it.  The funds raised for the project have already been spent or committed, and now we move on to the next job: raising funds for daily operations and long-term sustainability. We have several strategies toward this end:

Naming Opportunities: There are still a handful of naming opportunities available throughout the building. The foundation recognition wall in the front lobby has also garnered a good deal of interest from funders who want to be represented in the facility. We will continue to pursue these funding opportunities as they arise.

Facility Revenue:  While we never turn a child away for financial reasons, the Boys & Girls Club does charge fees on a sliding scale. We ask those who can afford it to pay for our programs ($20 annual membership fee; $40 weekly fee during school breaks), while we subsidize those who cannot afford it. This program revenue provides an important income source.

Additionally, there has been quite a bit of interest from outside groups to rent the facility for special events. Thus far, building rentals have been on a limited basis as we are still exploring ways to maximize the facility’s use for the kids. However, once we find a good balance, building rentals have the potential to become an important revenue stream from year to year.

Immediate Community: Recognizing the importance of a Boys & Girls Club in their community, our neighbors have been highly supportive of this project. We believe there is potential for this moral support to become financial support as well. Our resource development team is in the process of creating strategies to reach out directly to the old southwest Reno neighborhood.

We are also working toward creating a marquee annual fundraiser for the facility. Initially, the inaugural event was scheduled for October 2014; however, with so many other activities occurring in the fall, the event was postponed. We are now planning for a May 2015 event and are pursuing a number of different options to cater to the community’s needs and interests.

Infrastructure Upgrades: Part of our project fundraising goal was designated for key infrastructure upgrades, which included the addition of a Resource Development Director. This position was filled in early 2013 and completes our fundraising team with the purpose of increasing overall annual giving to the Club. Together with our Board of Directors, the Club has assembled a team that will ensure the Pennington Facility, and the organization as a whole, remains viable long-term.


As we look to the future of the Pennington Facility, we are immensely excited at the opportunities. We have only begun to explore the possibilities of this facility, not only for our local youth, but for our entire community. Sustainability will remain at the forefront of the Boys & Girls Club’s efforts, and utilizing the sources listed above, we are confident in our ability to ensure sustainability of the facility for generations of northern Nevada children. Click here for more information about the Pennington Facility, or contact Executive Director Mike Wurm at (775) 360-2443.


Northern Nevada’s premier event for wine, beer, spirit and food connoisseurs

One of Northern Nevada’s most celebrated events returns Sept. 26 with a new moniker, Barrels & Bites (formerly named Vintage Nevada). The ultimate festival of drinks and auction runs from 5 – 8 p.m. at the TuscanyBarrels & Bites Ballroom at the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino. The Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows is the official benefactor of the 24th annual event where attendees enjoy hundreds of specialty wines, beers and spirits, alongside a large selection of hors d’oeuvres and desserts and partake in silent and live auctions. The event organized by Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada raises funds for the Club, which serves more than 12,000 children annually in northern Nevada. Tickets are available online at www.BarrelsandBites.com for $50; $65 at the door.

“This event has evolved into the most amazing experience of fine wine, spirits and beer to be had in northern Nevada,” said Tony King, general manager, Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada. “Each year we are excited to raise the bar on the event and additional funds for the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows.”

The 24th annual event features wines from around the world, specialty beers, ales, lagers and premium liquors from a variety of purveyors. Barrels & Bites also offers attendees festive hors d’oeuvres and elegant desserts from Reno’s finest casino restaurateurs and retail establishments as well as exciting auctions including culinary trips, VIP winery visits and other cultural experiences. In addition, all Barrels & Bites attendees receive free admission to Edge Nightclub following the event.

Barrels & Bites tickets can be purchased online or at these retail locations: L’Uva Bella Wine Shop, both Whispering Vine Wine Shops, Ben’s on Lakeside and Ben’s on South Virginia. In Carson City, tickets can be purchased at Aloha Discount Liquor Store.

For more information about Barrels & Bites please visit www.BarrelsandBites.com or contact Donna Wylie, Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada at (775) 353-5314.

Marge’s Camp 2014 Recap – A Great Adventure

By Jake Herringshaw, Athletics Coordinator and Kelli Beaulieu, Athletic Director

2014 Marge's Camp Marge’s Camp, the Club’s traditional stay-over in the great outdoors summer camp concluded at the end of July with rave reviews from campers. More than 300 Boys & Girls Club members participated in the 9th annual Marge’s Camp experience. The two week adventure was broken down into three sessions including a girl’s week, boy’s week, and a week for the Reno Ballers Program. Each week members were prepped and loaded on buses at the DWR facility and transported to camp. Once members arrived they were split up into seven different camp sites with Boys & Girls Club staff members serving as senior counselors and Leaders In Training members as junior counselors. Shortly after the campers are settled in the real adventure begins . . .

On the first day of camp all campers and counselors head out to the swimming pool for their swim tests. Those who did not pass are given swimming lessons throughout the week in hopes of passing the test before they depart Marge’s Camp. This year more than 260 youth were able to pass the swim test by the end of camp. Throughout the next three days campers participated in a series of rotations that included Packer Lake, the swimming pool, S.M.A.R.T. (Skills Mastery and Resistance Training) Moves, outdoor education, sports, fitness and arts and crafts. This year Packer Lake gave kids the opportunity to not only swim and canoe, but to learn how to paddle board. Campers also got an opportunity to learn about the woods in the new outdoor education program. Campers learned how to make and read sun dials, learned about nursing logs, and the differences in soil erosion.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding The enrichment activities did not end there. In the revamped S.M.A.R.T. Moves program lessons, campers were introduced to impactful lessons covering fitness, healthy eating, and bullying vs. respect. Upon completion of Smart Moves campers got a chance to get creative with arts and crafts. This year featured some new projects including the making of survival bracelets, bird houses, and sand art, while also keeping the tradition of creating their own tie-dye T-shirt. Each day campers had the opportunity to play volleyball, basketball, corn-hole, and disk golf. We wrapped each week up on the final day with a six-mile hike to Deer Lake. After reaching this beautiful lake, campers ate lunch and swam in the crystal clear water to cool down before the journey back down the mountain.

The simplicity of a campfire, a hike, and a lake ties this amazing adventure together for the members of the Boys & Girls Club. During the last night each group of campers are encouraged to stand before their peers and express what camp means to them and explain their experience. The overwhelming message from all of the campers is one of great appreciation for the opportunity to experience this overnight camp. Marge’s Camp is magical, and brings perspective to youth on what is truly important in life . . . supportive relationships, friendship, and growth for oneself.

Tickets on sale for Barrels & Bites, Sept. 26

Barrels & Bites, presented by Southern Wine and Spirits, is northern Nevada’s premier event for food, wine, beer and spirit connoisseurs. The event takes place Friday, Sept. 26 at the Peppermill Resort Hotel. In addition to more than 500 wines from world-renowned vineyards, attendees sample fine beers, spirits, specialty cocktails and fantastic cuisine within themed areas in the venue. A silent and live auction rounds out the event with all proceeds from the evening benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows. Barrels & Bites

Tickets are only $50 in advance, $65 at the door. In addition to event entry, each ticket grants free admission to the after party at Edge Nightclub to keep the festivities going. For additional information and to purchase tickets, visit www.barrelsandbites.com or contact Allyson Bolton, (775) 360-2448 or abolton@bgctm.org.

Over 500 wines from around the world; plus boutique wines, trendy varietals and impressive labels

Ultra-smooth whiskies, premium vodka, gin, rum, tequila, and specialty cocktails

Internationally renowned specialty ales and lagers

Festive hors d’oeuvres, entrees and elegant desserts

Culinary trips, cultural experiences, VIP winery visits, collectible wines and more

Free admission to Edge Nightclub following the event

Purchase tickets today at www.barrelsandbites.com!

Events Calendar

Annual Awards Banquet presented by Hot August Nights Foundation, November 13 at 5 p.m. at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino. This year's 50's themed event honors our Youth of the Year and Nick Rossi, our 2014 Distinguished Service Award Winner. Sponsorships and Tables are available or $100 per person. Be there or be square! RSVP to Allyson Bolton at 775-360-2448 or abolton@bgctm.org.