The mission of the Indian River County Boys & Girls Club is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.
We envision a future in which the Boys & Girls Clubs of Indian River County is a catalyst for an age in which success is within reach of every child, and whole generations of children are inspired to a level of civic engagement not seen since the founding of our nation.
In 1860, two women, concerned about the growing number of young boys hanging out on the streets of Hartford, Connecticut and often getting into trouble, decided to do something about it. They believed that if the boys had a fun and safe place to go they would have a much better chance of growing into productive adults. And so, they opened the Dashaway Boys Club in one of their homes. It was the start of something that would become the Boys Clubs of America and ultimately the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. More than 147 years later, the ladies’ simple premise could not be more true. The landscape has certainly changed. The reasons children are left alone have changed along with the Club locations. But the need has not. Much like those two women in 1860, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Indian River County, an affiliate of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, started with a small group of men and women who believed children can and will flourish if they are offered opportunities in a safe, fun and educational haven during non-school hours.
LOCAL HISTORICAL MILESTONES
In November 1999, guided by the efforts of Gordon Anderson, a steering committee gathered to formulate the foundation of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Indian River County.
On February 4, 2000, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Indian River County was incorporated.
In June 2000, the first board meeting was held and Ken Felten was elected as Board President.
In August 2000, the first paid professional, an Executive Director, was hired.
In November 2000, the first clubhouse opened, located at Thompson Elementary School in the southern part of the county.
On December 7, 2000, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Indian River County became an official member affiliate of Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
In January 2001, the Club became a member agency of the United Way.
In April 2001, the Club moved from Thompson Elementary to a 3,000 square foot leased facility located in the South County at 683 27th Avenue, Vero Beach.
In December 2001, the Club opened its second branch, Boys and Girls club of Sebastian in a 4,800 square foot rented facility, located at 250 Sebastian Boulevard, in the city of Sebastian.
In April 2002, Jay McNamara was elected as Chairman of the Board and served in that capacity until July 2013.
On May 1, 2005, construction began for Phase I of the new Sebastian Branch located at 1415 Friendship Lane. Land for this facility was donated by the City. The Club opened on January 26, 2006.
On May 15, 2006, the Club signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Fellsmere to begin plans for a new club. The club opened in November 2010.
On March 26, 2007, based on favorable results from our Feasibility Study, the Board of Directors voted to move forward with a Capital Campaign.
On November 5, 2007, the Board launched a Capital Campaign.
On February 21, 2008, the Boys & Girls Clubs signed a lease agreement with the City of Fellsmere.
On August 12, 2008, the Boys & Girls Clubs signed a lease agreement with Indian River County.
On September 13, 2010, the new Vero Beach Clubhouse and Administrative Offices were officially opened.
On November 1, 2010, the new Boys and Girls Club Fellsmere Clubhouse was opened after the rennovation of the 1916 schoolhouse. The historic building is shared with the City of Fellsmere, city utilities and the Frog Leg Festival.
On June 4, 2013, 2.5 acres of the land next to the Vero Club (known as the old jail) was added to our current lease with the County for future expansion of a playground.
Today, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Indian River County is the fastest growing not-for-profit youth development organization in Indian River County.