On Wednesday, October 18th, young and younger friends of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County came together to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the organization. Original Board members and advocates, former and current members, families, and community leaders gathered at kid-hosted parties in Anacortes, Mount Vernon, and Sedro-Woolley.
Not unlike the daily operations that serve more than 1,700 youth and teens each year, every Clubhouse was quite different in the approach and execution of their local event. Cakes were made, outrageous games played, and piñatas built and subsequently torn apart for the goodies contained within. Volunteers, parents, and advocates arrived with presents of games, school supplies and sports equipment for use at the Club, and everyone joined in rousing renditions of “Happy Birthday”.
From the most humble beginnings as a single location with a membership of just over 100, to six Club sites and a perennially award-winning organization, the focus has remained where it should be—on those kids who need us most. Without the support of the local Skagit County community, targeted-programs offered during the thousands of hours each year a Clubhouse is open when school is out, would not be possible. It is because of these targeted-programs, and the engagement with professional, trained staff, and committed volunteers, that Clubs produce solid outcomes in three priority areas—Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyles, and Good Character & Citizenship.
Many Clubs are operating on a waiting list only for enrollment, so as the next 20 years unfolds, Club leadership looks to expand opportunities and increase capacity. “It is fitting that in the midst of our 20th Anniversary celebration that we are developing our next Strategic Plan”, says Ron McHenry, CEO. “Our history is our knowledge and the foundational basis for youth development. As a maturing organization, our Board leadership now strives to compose the next chapter in our timeline, ensuring a great future for our kids, teens, and families served.”