[TUCSON, ARIZONA, January 12th] The Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson (BGCT) turns 65 years old in 2023. It will celebrate its 65th anniversary across the entire year with a series of unique campaigns, events, and community projects.
To commemorate its 65th anniversary, BGCT plans on a year-long series of unique activities, including events involving alumni and special fundraiser campaigns. In celebration of the sapphire year it has put together an advisory committee made up of prominent Tucson community innovators and BGCT supporters.
Projects that will kick off this year include a special WiFi hotspot garden installation at the Steve Daru Clubhouse location that will offer free WiFi to any youth who attends. WiFi inequality is one of the leading challenges BGCT’s youth face, with lack of access to internet impacting school performance. The garden will also provide members with an opportunity to grow their own fruit and vegetables, learning about gardening practices, and will also allow BGCT to bring academic programming outdoors in the event of future pandemic impact. It will positively affect thousands of youth for years to come. This is possible due to a partnership with COX Media and support from the Simone Foundation.
Other projects launching this year include the multi-layered project of transforming an existing Clubhouse location into a Teen Tech Center whose aim will be workforce development for teens in various tech industries. Annually hundreds of youth attending will receive in-depth mentoring and training on building career pathways in tech and trade vocations, from chip-building to digital marketing.
BGCT’s primary aim this year is to use the 65th to both celebrate its vibrant history and as an opportunity to reach even more in-need youth. From its 2022 data, over 90% of the organization’s 2700 youth members served come from low income households, 85% belong to traditionally underserved minority ethnicities/races, 72% qualify for free/reduced school lunches, and 45% live in single-parent homes. Some projects will be partially funded by philanthropist MacKenzie Scott’s $3.5 million gift the organization received last year.
For 65 years the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson has helped keep thousands of local children involved in after school and summer programming. The Clubs have resumed regular after school programming, offering daily access to a broad range of programs in five core areas: Character and Leadership Development; Education and Career Development; Health & Life Skills; The Arts; and Sports, Fitness, and Recreation. The organization currently serves youth ages 7-18 at its six local Clubhouse locations. Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson is a qualifying charity for the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit (QCO 20282). To find out more about Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson, visit bgctucson.org or call (520) 573-3533.
“The stewardship and community support of BGCT throughout the past 65 years has been inspirational and is certainly worthy of celebration. The organization has grown and thrived over time and will make an even greater impact on Tucson’s underserved youth in the future. This year’s planned community garden and internet hotspot, as well as the soon to be built Teen Tech Center, are prime examples of how well the organization adapts and is changing with the times.” -Ilene Sipe, BGCT Board Program & Personnel Committee Chair
Posted by Entertainment Magazine
“In 65 years the entire world can change numerous times over. 65 years can be the lifetime of a single individual, or an earmark in chapters of generations. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson have touched both, changing the trajectories of communities for the better. That the organization has been champions for Tucson’s most in-need youth for so long, remaining steadfast in their commitment to deliver quality programming even amidst rapidly-changing times, is a testament to its impact on Tucson. I could not be more proud to be spearheading our 65thyear alongside such a passionate board of advisors. I also must acknowledge the incredible staff in our Clubhouses, the gifted individuals who work with our youth daily. Together, we want all of Tucson this year to know about the work we do, to reach deeper into communities who need us, and to celebrate the giants whose shoulders we stand on. This year, we are all BGCT.” -Denise Watters, CEO