Jamestown Boys & Girls Club Celebrates 80th Year During National Boys & Girls Club Week

Camp Hiak Tilikum campers enjoy going to Longpoint each week.

Article Contributed by
Stephanie McCraw

The In 1860, three women in Connecticut saw a need for young boys to have constructive activities outside of school, and they started a club. They may not have changed the world in that moment but standing behind the belief that every young individual should be provided opportunity had a ripple effect. Over 150 years later The Boys and Girls Club is a national organization and holds a U.S. Congressional Charter.

Located on 62 Allen Street in Jamestown, near the WCA Hospital, the Winifred Crawford Dibert Boys and Girls Club is celebrating its 80th year and participating in the National “Boys and Girls Club Week” scheduled Monday through Friday, April 8th- 13th.

The Club served more than 1600 area youth last year with afternoon and evening hours, recreational activities like swimming and basketball, summer camps, and family nights, all while implementing mentorship and career-readiness. Their mission statement is “To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.”

“The door count was 32,000 last year,” said Dianne Woleen, Assistant Executive Director of the Club.

A Week of Fun

Sunday kicked off the celebration with a “Bump into Spring” bumper car fundraiser at the Northwest Arena for $10 a ticket, put on by the Board of Directors.

This “Boys and Girls Club Week” puts a spin on the weekly programming. Besides a paper-airplane flying contest during the afternoon hours on Monday, the staff is excited to host a very special teen basketball awards banquet Monday evening. Numbers of youth involvement jumped to over thirty this year; enough players that they were able to have a girls’ team and both JV and Varsity for boys.

Scheduled for Tuesday is hair and makeup, musical chairs, and “Minute to Win it” games in the evening. Wednesday presents STEM projects and a Teens Vs. Staff basketball game. Thursday is a scavenger hunt and a Family Movie Night, featuring Peter Rabbit (2018) on a projector screen. Friday is the kid-favorite 4-corners game, and “Game Show Games” like Jeopardy and Chopped in the evening.

Saturday, April 13th, rounds out the fun-filled week with “Plan a Carnival” Game, relay races, and a pizza making contest.

Join In

Woleen mentioned that she’s been involved with the Club for 24 years, six of that in her current position. “We’d like to have people check out the club during Boys and Girls Club Week and see what we have going on.” She said, noting that she’d like to see more awareness of what the non-profit organization has to offer young people. “There are still people that don’t know we’re here!” She said. Joining couldn’t be easier at $20 for a yearly child membership or $1 for each visit, with financial aid available.

The Boys and Girls Club is part of a National Organization that serves nearly 4 million kids in 4300 locations across the country. Their standpoint is that every child deserves a safe-haven and a constructive environment when they aren’t in school. They focus on safety, fun, relationships and recognition, opportunity, and expectations.

Starting July 1st The Club will host three camp programs available to area youth: Camp Hiak Tilikum, their day camp located on Curtis St. Ext., Lincoln Elementary School LEAP camp, and an afternoon program at the Allen St. site.

For more information call 716-664-2902 or visit the website www.bgcjamestown.org