The Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri kicked off its 55th anniversary this week with a celebration at each of its 11 sites.
Members at the Parkview Elementary Site sang a special song, while other sites spent some time creating signs to commemorate the milestone anniversary, took creative “55” photos and learned about 1960 – the year the Sedalia Boys Club was founded. Mayor Steve Galliher also declared January 13, “Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri Day.”
“The greater the positive impact we have on young people today, the better able we are to fulfill our mission to inspire and enable all young people to realize their full potential as caring and productive citizens,” said Executive Director Jessica Pyle. “We look forward to many more great years of positive changes within our young people and our community.”
Founded in 1960, the Sedalia Boys Club – as it was first known – was organized by several community members and civic organizations who recognized that young boys needed a safe place to go after school. Despite its humble beginnings with only a volunteer board to run the entire operation, the Sedalia Boys Club prospered, eventually allowing girls to attend in the 1980s. In 1990, the Club expanded to Sedalia’s five elementary schools, a partnership between the Club and the Sedalia 200 School District that continues to this day.
Thanks in part to grant funding, the Club was able to expand to several outlying areas, including Smithton in 2002, La Monte and Leeton in 2006, and Cole Camp, Green Ridge and Sedalia Middle School in 2007.
Today, the Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri serves approximately 1,300 members yearly, providing programs based on physical, emotional, cultural and social needs.