Help Us Win! Vote Now!
June 28th, 2012
Erhardt Construction is celebrating its 50th Anniversary by recognizing and supporting the work of people and organizations that are serving others in our community. Together with their project partners, Erhardt is giving away a construction project and prizes totaling $50,000 to area non-profit organizations through our Building Our Community contest.
Erhardt will award one “Grand Prize”. The “Grand Prize” will be a construction project on property owned or operated by the winning charity within Kent or Ottawa County, Michigan. The “Grand Prize” will be valued at $45,000. The “Grand Prize” will be awarded to the eligible charity that receives the most votes.
Help Boys & Girls Clubs of GRYC win this contest! All you have to do is vote and spread the word to your friends and family to support all the hardwork this organization does for the future of our youth!
A Few Questions for the Boss!
June 25th, 2012
New Executive Director Rick Huisman has now been immersed in the Clubs for over a month. We thought that we would give you a closer look into his first impressions, and the ones that have been the most lasting thus far.
1. What has stuck out to you the most while hanging out with the Club members in the Clubs?
How genuinely happy the kids are to be here.
2. What inspires you to do the work you do for BGCGRYC?
Coming into this position, I felt I knew quite a bit about Boys & Girls Clubs and what the organization provides for kids and the community. On June 5th, we reopened the Paul I. Phillips Recreation Center giving us our third location here in Grand Rapids and realized something pretty powerful. We can TALK about “enabling youth especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens” all we want. What we DO about it is what will separate us from failure and success.
3. What are your hopes for the future of the Clubs and what they provide the youth?
My hope for the Clubs as we move forward is to do our very best to ensure our members are coming into the Clubs at least three times a week. National statistics show that If we can get our kids into the clubs at least three times a week they will have better than a 90% chance of graduating high school. Young people who drop out of high school are significantly less likely to secure a job, earn an adequate income, and have a promising future. The more good people who know and understand what we do, the stronger we will be as an organization to provide these opportunities for our kids.
If you have a question for Rick, feel free to post it in the comments section of this post.
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.