Celebrating the Opening of a New Club at the Paul I. Phillips Recreation Center!

June 5th, 2012

Hundreds more children will have a healthy, safe, fun place to meet friends, play games and work on their creative and academic skills with the opening of Grand Rapids’ third Boys & Girls Club at the Paul I. Phillips Recreation Center on Grand Rapids’ southeast side.

Through a partnership between Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth and the City of Grand Rapids, the long-closed Paul I. Phillips Center, 726 Madison Ave. SE, has been extensively renovated to allow for additional programming to promote the health, education and leadership development of Grand Rapids children.

“This new Club at the Paul I. Phillips Recreation Center will offer a haven where kids can meet new friends, play games, learn new skills and get the help they need to be successful in school,” said Rick Huisman, executive director of Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth. “We are grateful to our members, the city and the many people who support our efforts to nurture a new generation of young leaders.”

Mayor George K. Heartwell, Third Ward City Commissioners Elias Lumpkins and James White, and Police Chief and Club Board Chairman Kevin Belk will be on hand for a ceremonial ribbon cutting at 4 p.m. June 5. They will join Huisman, Club Director Jennifer Jones, and Youth of the Year Mayra Cardenas in showing off the renovated building.

The first Club members will be welcomed on June 11 when Boys & Girls Clubs and Camp O’Malley open for summer programming. Clubs are open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.. Club membership costs just $5 per year thanks to generous donors throughout our community, including Taco Bell restaurants, which are helping to underwrite the Paul I. Phillips ribbon-cutting.  West Michigan Taco Bell restaurants and their customers donate thousands of dollars to support local Boys & Girls Clubs programming each year.

The Paul I. Phillips Center is named for the first African American elected to public office in Grand Rapids. Paul I. Phillips was first elected to the Grand Rapids Charter Commission in 1951. He was later elected to serve on the Grand Rapids Board of Education in 1962. He also served as director of the Grand Rapids Urban League.


#1 Evvia M said:

Great news for this community. I was hoping that Paul I. wasn't closed for good.

#2 shaniquai said:

It us great to see the building us back open and the young kind respect the building as well other.

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