Not Just Any Old Party

by Ryan West

Just inside the doors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington, young people can find the opportunity for a great future.
For more than 50 years, the organization has offered a service unmatched in quality or affordability in the community. Every day, hundreds of kids call it home during after-school hours.

“Young people, especially those at greatest risk, need responsible adult guidance. They need to know that someone cares about them and are concerned and capable adults to whom they can turn,” said Vice President of Development Michael Gonzales.
The club is a place where young people can have a safe and consistent relationship with caring, professional, adult staff members. As a refuge from the streets, the club gives kids a positive place to play and interact with their peers. More importantly, those interactions take place in an environment created to foster academic and social development.
The Boys & Girls Clubs organization has come a long way from the “swim and gym” for which it was originally known. Today the organization is focused on providing youth with an outcome-driven experience that will help them graduate from high school with a plan for the future, with good character and a commitment to living a healthy lifestyle.
“The fact that government uses fifth grade literacy rates to predict the future number of prison beds is a wake-up call,” says Steve A. Wurm, Boys & Girls Clubs president. “Every day our kids can get homework help, one-on-one assistance, and skill reinforcement. At the club, it’s learning through fun.”
This year the Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington will impact 8,000 youth through membership and outreach at its five neighborhood branches and 13 school sites. Focused on its mission, the club makes sure it is affordable to all youth who need its services by keeping membership fees at $20 to $35 per year.
Each fall the club throws its Party for a Purpose to raise funds to support its programs and provide membership scholarships.
This year’s party is Oct. 6 at The Howell Farms in Arlington, and the theme is Boot Scoot ‘n Boogie. More than 500 guests will enjoy Arlington’s finest fare, casino games, the music of Southern Chrome and the opportunity to bid on some fabulous live and silent auction items. The party runs from 7 p.m. to midnight.
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