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Club members shine at LiveArts

April 25th, 2015

We recently had the opportunity to bring some Club members from our Performing Arts Program to perform in a very special event. LiveArts was a one-night only concert held at the Van Andel Arena in downtown Grand Rapids on April 24, 2015.

In an unprecedented collaboration, the Grand Rapids Symphony, Symphony Chorus,Youth Symphony, Youth Symphony Chorus, Opera Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Ballet, Broadway Grand Rapids and more (if you can believe that!) all came together for an evening of unforgettable performances. Area composer Sean Ivory composed a piece that would incorporate all the musical entities present. They even decided to create a “Community Youth Chorus” made up of kids from Grand Rapids area schools. That is where we came in…

When the GR Symphony approached us about being involved in LiveArts, it only took a moment to say yes. Even though our own Spring Concert would be a few weeks later, we knew that this would be an opportunity our members would carry with them for the rest of their lives. Performing in a huge arena with thousands of musicians? Sign us up!

The concert included 1,564 performers, 1,286 of which were children. What transpired was a long but magical week of rehearsals culminating in the big performance on Friday night. Our members were troopers, getting through long nights with a lot of waiting in our seats with ease. The logistics of the massive processional into the arena for act two was a huge undertaking that had to be rehearsed many times. And of course, the piece we were singing in had to be rehearsed as well. An 11-minute epic about working together, "I Will Rise" contained a lovely musical line that we repeated throughout the piece: “Two are better than one. If you fall, I will pick you up.”

Friday night arrived and our members were excited and a little nervous to see the arena fill up with over 7,000 audience members. What an experience at a young age! The show went off without a hitch and was absolutely stunning. "I Will Rise" finished to a large round of applause from the audience, and smiles were on everyone’s faces. LiveArts concluded with a standing ovation from the crowd, which pleased our performers greatly. They left the arena feeling like stars. We already knew they were.

 

If you missed our Club members at this magical event, don't fret! Join us on May 7th for our 3rd Annual MusicMakers Spring Concert.

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April's Youth of the Month!

April 21st, 2015

Our Youth of the Month (YOM) program spotlights a Club member who truly represents the mission of our Clubs. Staff will decide on a YOM based on their involvement in different activities and behavior. It is a program that helps to build our participation in the national Youth of the Year program.

Congratulations to April's Youth of the Month Winners:

Steil Club: Jaleah
Why Staff Selected Jaleah: Jaleah has shown so much improvement in behavior in the last month at the Steil Club. She especially has shown effort to be a good student and kid in the Art Room. Her favorite activities in the Art Room are painting, and finding new ways to make art. Jaleah always brings a smile to the staff's faces, and always asks to help out in any way she can.

Steil Club: Dontarrie
Why Staff Selected Dontarrie: Dontarrie is a positive influence at the Steil Club. He offers to help without anyone asking. He is respectful, kind, and thoughtful.  Dontarrie is a perfect example for younger Club members to look up to!

 

Paul I. Phillips Club: Alim
Why Staff Selected Alim: Alim is always very helpful around the Club.  He takes being a positive leader to his peers very seriously, and he attends nearly every day.  Alim plays basketball, attends Career Launch and Project Learn, and is interested in getting our Keystone Club running.

Seidman Club: Jason
Why Staff Selected Jason: Jason is one of the best volunteer members that has helped around the Club for years. Jason is a great role model for all the Club members.

 

 

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Camp Clean-Up A Success!

April 14th, 2015

On Saturday April 11th, 40 volunteers joined us at Camp O’Malley to help get the camp ready for summertime! Volunteers came from various organizations including GE Aviation, the Grand Rapids Police Department, Grand Valley State University and the Seidman Torch Club.

It was a beautiful day and the volunteers did a fantastic job raking leaves, cleaning up the cabins, organizing the gym and arts & crafts hall, and much more. Our Campers will greatly appreciate all of the hard work!

A big thank you to all of the volunteers who joined us on Saturday. It is our vision to create a world-class camp experience for the kids in our community, providing them with fun, safe recreation in the outdoors. Thank you for helping us make this vision a reality!

Want to get more involved? Find out more here.

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Blue Doors for BGC Week!

March 24th, 2015

This week is Boys & Girls Club Week!

With the help of 17 amazing volunteers from Nestlé, our youth painted 3 blue doors and colored blue door print-outs to kick off the fun!

A special thanks to the Habitat for Humanity of Kent County ReStore for donating the doors!

See more photos here!

 

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March's Youth of the Month!

March 17th, 2015

Our Youth of the Month (YOM) program spotlights a Club member who truly represents the mission of our Clubs. Staff will decide on a YOM based on their involvement in different activities and behavior. It is a program that helps to build our participation in the national Youth of the Year program.

Congratulations to March's Youth of the Month Winners:

Steil Club: A'nijah
Why Staff Selected A'nijah: We chose A'nijah for Youth of the Month because she is someone who treats everyone with respect. She is a hard worker and has lots of determination. She resists peer pressure to be like everyone else and is refreshingly unique.

Steil Club: Jovon
Why Staff Selected Jovon: Jovon is a someone who is very helpful throughout the Club. You can often see him making good choices even when those around him are not. He is very respectful to staff and his peers. Jovon is a team player.

 

Paul I. Phillips Club: Derricka
Why Staff Selected Derricka: Derricka helps out around the Club a lot with cleaning and some administrative tasks. Derricka is also very happy to participate in any project or program.

 

 

Seidman Club: Naton
Why Staff Selected Naton: Naton is always very helpful around the Club and helps out around the office whenever asked. She is a great leader and role model for young members in the Club. Naton also was one of the three 2015 Youth of the Year candidates.

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Vehicle City Challenge

March 16th, 2015

The Vehicle City Challenge is an annual event held in Flint, Michigan at the Averill Unit.  The event features several games and challenges for students representing teams from all over the state.  This year all three Grand Rapids Boys & Girls Clubs were represented and each Club took home at least one medal.  Seidman Club came in third overall in the games behind the Troy Club and the hosting Flint Averill Club.  Students had a lot of fun competing against other Boys & Girls Clubs in games such as two-ball, carpet ball, 9 ball pool, bumper pool, obstacle course, connect four, trivia, NBA 2k, and more.

Also Mr. Shawn took first in catchphrase. Coach Owens took second. :)

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Meijer Volunteers Create Change

March 6th, 2015

On Wednesday, March 4th about 35 volunteers from Meijer joined us at our Paul I. Phillips Club to help get it ready for the construction of a new teen space. The group came together as a team building activity and to give back to their community.

“Meijer was built upon a fundamental philosophy of supporting the communities where our customers and team members work and live,” said Charles Delgado, vice president of asset protection for Meijer. “That includes spending time volunteering with worthwhile organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids. My team and I really enjoyed helping the club get ready for a remodel. We organized, cleaned and painted. But most importantly, we helped an organization that does so much good in our community.”

Thanks so much to Meijer and all their volunteers! We could not do all that we do without the support of volunteers like you.

Want to get involved? Find out more here!

 

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2015 Youth of the Year!

March 3rd, 2015

Youth of the Year gives us an amazing opportunity to spotlight our Club Members and hear how they are making a difference not only in the Clubs, but at school, in the community, and at home.  We get the opportunity to hear from them about the Clubs are doing, and how our programming is affecting the neighborhoods and the community at large.  The Youth of the Year Celebration Luncheon is our favorite event for that reason.  We are able to sit down with 350 of our closest friends and listen to the stories of our Club Members.  Supporters like you are crucial to our mission of building a brighter future for the children in our community, and through the gifts of all at the luncheon we were able to raise over $40,000 for the youth of Grand Rapids.

Most of our 350 attendees probably haven’t eaten a box luncheon in a gymnasium for a long time, but we wanted to bring that feeling back with our luncheon, and have everyone directly feel the Boys & Girls Clubs and what we bring to the children of Grand Rapids.  We are grateful for our sponsors that were able to help bring this luncheon to life.  Steelcase, Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge, Genius Phone Repair, Reynolds & Sons, A1 Irrigation, and Handcrafted Systems all came on board in 2015.  BarFly Events was able to provide the delicious lunch that everyone enjoyed.  A huge big thank you to our committee members who worked hard for three months leading up to the event securing judges, sponsors, attendees, and donations.

This year, we wanted to make sure our three candidates also had a little fun, so we added the Hollywood-themed After Party for our Club members, Staff, Candidates, and Friends.  We had 40 Club members celebrate the accomplishments of our Candidates and the new 2015 Youth of the Year Chelsea Flemings.  We had dinner, a special dessert, dancing, and a performance by one of their favorite artists and former Club staff member.

Our Character and Leadership programs, like Keystone and Youth of the Year, teach kids their true strength and empowers them to transform their communities.  Our Youth of the Year 2015 winner Chelsea Flemings says, “Throughout my Club experience I have seen several different characteristics and backgrounds in which many of the members come from.  This makes my drive to help young people even stronger.”  Our Clubs open the door to youth, like Chelsea, who are looking for a place to call their own.

See photos from this year's luncheon here!
See photos from the afterparty here!

 

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Justice Summit with local officers

March 1st, 2015

At the end of February, we set up a Justice Summit facilitated by former Seidman Club Director, Mike Remo, and his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi. They brought the Wyoming Police Chief, Huemartin Robinson (Census control of Juvenile Detention), and Stacy McGinnis (Juvenile Detention Superintendent) over to Seidman Boys & Girls Club to sit on a panel with our own Grand Rapids Police Officer Mike Harris to talk to our members about recent national, state, and community events. 

The summit was an open floor forum about community-to-police relations. It was built to shine a light on the current situation in the community and offer insight on ways to improve relations. "I feel like the summit had a positive impact on our Club members because it allowed them to get a look at the inside of the police department, and see the truth about expectations and operations," said Seidman Education Coordinator Kenneth Reed.

We look forward to bringing more summit nights to our Clubs!

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February's Youth of the Month!

February 17th, 2015

Our Youth of the Month (YOM) program spotlights a Club member who truly represents the mission of our Clubs. Staff will decide on a YOM based on their involvement in different activities and behavior. It is a program that helps to build our participation in the national Youth of the Year program.

Congratulations to February's Youth of the Month Winners:

Steil Club: Amy
Why Staff Selected Amy: She is such a hard worker. Amy can be seen helping others when she finishes her homework early and is very patient when doing so. She always asks how she can help out in any situation. Amy is truly a leader among her peers.

Steil Club: Jadia
Why Staff Selected Jadia: Jadia is our Teen Youth of the Month at Steil.  She has come a long way in the past few months.  She is helpful and respectful.  She offers assistance without being asked.

 

 

Paul I. Phillips Club: Tristiana
Why Staff Selected Tristiana: She is our Youth of the Month because she is always in a good mood. She is friendly to everyone and is always very helpful to the staff.

 

 

Seidman Club: Mattea
Why Staff Selected Mattea: Mattea is a bright young lady with a promising future. She is always available to help out at Seidman Boys & Girls Club with staff and the young members, that is why Mattea was chosen the Youth of the Month.

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Our Mission

To enable all young people to reach their full potential as responsible citizens through education, recreation, and other positive community experiences in partnership with the Grand Rapids Police Department.

Contact Us

for direct numbers to specific departments and staff visit the contact page.

Admin/Steil Club

rhuizenga@bgcgr...

(616) 233.9370

235 Straight Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI
49504

Paul I. Phillips Club

sflood@bgcgrand...

(616) 719.0775

726 Madison Ave SE
Grand Rapids, MI
49503

Seidman Club

dowens@bgcgrand...

(616) 452.0061

139 Crofton Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI
49507

Camp O'Malley

tim@campomalley...

(616) 871.6551

7360 Thornapple Dales
Alto, MI
49302