Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows: An idea becomes reality
The Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows was founded in 1976 by a group of local business men and woman and other concerned citizens. These caring individuals were worried about the increase in juvenile problems associated with the rapid growth of the Reno/Sparks and Washoe County areas during the 1970s. Prior to opening, the Club’s Board of Directors applied for membership to Boys Clubs of America and was awarded a charter to operate in Northern Nevada. The first Club members occupied a facility just south of the intersection of Terminal Way and East Plumb Lane in Reno. Due to the vast popularity and success of the Boys Club movement, a major fundraising campaign was instituted to provide a better location for the Club. In late 1981 the current facility opened on East Ninth Street.
Recognizing the importance for providing services to the female youth of our community as well, we joined a nationwide movement to allow girls to participate as full-time members of the Club, a change that was made official in 1983. Two years later, we changed our name to the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows.
In 1998, the Club launched its first two satellite sites and expanded our membership to include teens. In September of 2004, through the generous support of the Reno/Sparks community, we commenced a major capital expansion that transformed our East Ninth Street facility into the 80,000 square foot Donald W. Reynolds Facility that it is today. Over the years we continued to launch new Club sites around the Truckee Meadows over the coming years, including sites located on school campuses. Additional expansion opportunities opened up in 2010 and 2011, including opening four sites in the rural community of Fernley and our newest site in Reno’s Lemmon Valley.
Today, the Club runs a total of 20 sites, including the Donald W. Reynolds Facility on East Ninth Street, the William N. Pennington Facility on Foster Drive as well as sites hosted in 13 schools, four teen centers, our Neil Road and Lemmon Valley youth sites and our Early Learning Program at the E.L. Wiegand Youth Center. In 2013 we served more than 12,000 local youth and our membership continues to grow as the need for our services has never been greater in today’s uncertain economy. Our transportation program provides upwards of 40,000 bus rides from local schools to our Club sites, and our feeding program serves nearly 200,000 meals to our members every year. In an effort to keep our services as affordable as possible, Club membership costs just $20 per year, even though we invest nearly $2,500 annually into each of our members. Our Club boasts nearly 130 different programs and events to meet the diverse needs and interests of our members. These programs fall under five core areas:
- Character & Leadership Development: These programs give members ample opportunity to serve their community and others as they realize they are part of something much bigger than themselves.
- Education & Career Development: We offer daily afterschool homework help and tutoring as well as money management classes, college and career preparation, computer classes, science camps, reading clubs and much more.
- Health & Life Skills: The Club plays an important role in helping our members make smart decisions and establish healthy habits. From building self-esteem to dealing with peer pressure to creating healthy eating habits, we offer comprehensive health and life skills programming.
- The Arts: We are pleased to offer an array of arts programs that are as broad as our members’ interests. Whether its music, fine arts, drama or dance, the arts room is one of the most popular places to be at the Club.
- Sports, Fitness & Recreation: We offer leagues and camps for football, basketball, baseball, boxing, indoor soccer, dodgeball, karate, skiing/snowboarding and golf; and instruction and informal play for lacrosse, rugby, fencing, skateboarding and much more.