October 21, 2015

Can you believe that this is the last newsletter of 2015, boy time flies when you're having fun! The summer members were busy with fieldtrips and programming that kept the crazy summer loss lizard away. 
Now Club members are back in the swing of their Back to School routine.
Simply Like our  FB Page and get weekly posts on Club happenings. Check out our NEW website designed by a really cool Buffalo agency 15Fingers, please, please leave us a comment if you do visit.

Sincerely,
The staff of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo
"2 Pack a Backpack" Job Well Done
 
For the 11th year, Boys & Girls Club members and staff, teamed-up with Channel 2, Walmart and many other generous donors, collected school supplies for underprivileged kids throughout Western New York.
 
The drive's success relies on the generosity of corporate and individual donors as well as plenty of volunteers. Collected donations from the area Walmart's arrived in busloads at our Babcock Clubhouse where the gym was transformed into a school supply emporium.
 
Hundreds of volunteers spent several days sorting supplies then packing backpacks.
Through this one (1) day collection, we are able to fill and distribute more than 3,000 back packs to children in need. A full list of sponsors who we are truly grateful for can be found on our website .
 
To participate as a collection site next year, please contact Carol Hairston at chairston@bgcbuffalo.org or call 716-825-1016. Monetary donations are always accepted online .

The "Bigs" & "Littles" Hang Out Together
On a warm, sunny day in late July, nearly 20 Rich Products executives from all around the world stopped into the John F. Beecher Clubhouse to learn more about us.
 
Our more than 50 year history with Rich Products began in 1952 when Bob Rich Sr. held a position of board member with then Boys Club of Buffalo-- it's been sweet ever since.
 
Rich's execs had a blast playing football, ping pong, and created their own bubble hockey tournament, and some got busy with arts and crafts.
 
The Club members performed a song and dance number for their new found friends and the friends presented the group with a check for $1,000.
 
Before good-byes were said, the "Bigs" & "Littles" posed for a group shot. Both groups were thoroughly enriched by the experience.
Butler Mitchell Club Members Participate in INROADS National Day of Service
 
INROADS National Day of Service promotes awareness, volunteerism and stewardship from coast to coast.
 
This year, INROADS  proudly partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of America  in support of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign to create a healthier generation of children through proper nutrition and regular physical activity.
 
Members participated by cleaning areas around their local Clubhouses and communities. They swept and picked-up debris along sidewalks and in front of store fronts. Area businesses were grateful for the help.
 
For over four decades, INROADS has helped businesses gain greater access to diverse talent through continuous leadership development of outstanding ethnically diverse students and placement of those students in internships at many of North America's top corporations, firms and organizations.

Youth for Unity Project to Benefit Ronald McDonald House
 
Club members were given a special project this summer!
 
They were asked to collect tabs off pop cans for the Ronald McDonald House. The Ronald McDonald House recycles the tabs and the money raised is used to purchase wheelchairs for children in need. The best part is that Metalico Buffalo matches the donation value of the pull tabs, so our donation was doubled!
 
The project provided a terrific opportunity for children to get involved and make a genuine contribution to their community.
 
Our collection concluded at the end of our summer program and the total tabs exceeded well over 20,000. Club members delivered the donations to the Ronald McDonald House where representatives of Ronald McDonald House thanked the kids for their generosity and community engagement. 

╩╗Lowe's Heroes' Our Masten Clubhouse Superhero
Lowe's Heroes project chose to enhance Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo Masten Clubhouse this year with some fresh paint, furniture and a lot of elbow grease.
 
The Masten Clubhouse received the help of many volunteers who installed new countertops, painted walls, rolled-out carpeting and freshened-up the kid's space.
 
Each year many Lowe's stores collaborate on group projects so they can make a larger difference. The Lowe's Heroes program encourages employees in a location to team together, adopt a volunteer project with a local nonprofit organization or K-12 public school.
 
The Lowe's store at 8150 Transit Road in Williamsville lead the charge. Lynn and your team, we can't thank you enough for all your help.

Spelling Bee & Science Fair Get Members Ready for New School Year
 
Members did more this summer than let the brain turn to mush over video games and Cheetos. More than 50 Club members engaged in a spelling bee to increase academic performance, literacy, and vocabulary skills.
 
The Science Fair brought together groups of members who worked as a team to identify a project, research and develop their presentation. The fair included more than 50 teams representing all the BGCB Clubhouses. Some fun projects included: Moving machines made of LEGOS that came together to make one big contraption by our Buffalo United Charter School Clubhouse, Diorama of a rainforest ecosystem by our Southside Clubhouse, Studying how ants tunnel! was researched by our Beecher Clubhouse and Learning how to make your own slime and how to make it move! gratefully by our Woodrow Wilson Clubhouse. What a cool way to incorporate fun and knowledge.
 
SMART Girls Get Movin'
 
Female members of the Elmwood Village Charter School Clubhouse attended "Itty Bitty Bootcamp" at Shannon Connors Fitness in alignment with the SMART Girls program. The SMART Girls program at our Clubs provides girls with guidance toward healthy attitudes and lifestyles, eating right, staying fit and getting good health care.
 
During their trip, the girls had the opportunity to work with certified personal trainer and owner, Shannon Connors. Shannon discussed healthy eating, the importance of regular exercise, and how to be "UNBREAKABLE," sparking the confidence girls need to overcome obstacles.  A short workout provided them a basic introduction to muscle building, cardio, and agility exercises which stressed how fitness is a fun part of living a healthy lifestyle.
 
Excited and motivated to be "strong, not skinny," Tianna exclaimed, "I can be anything I want to be, even a muscle girl." It was a great experience for the girls filling them with valuable life lessons and an eagerness to return for more.
 
Shannon Connors Fitness runs Itty Bitty Bootcamp for ages 4-12, for more information visit ShannonConnorsFit.com.
Annual FBI Jr. Special Agent Day
 
Back by popular demand, The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)/Buffalo Office, NY State Troopers and FBI Citizens Academy volunteers held an FBI Jr. Special Agent Day for local youth.
 
Attendees from several youth organizations as well as Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo learned more about the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and its STEM-related (science, technology, engineering and math) activities through fun and interactive workshops.
 
Youth spent time with a bomb robot and learned about using a remote-controlled robot to handle explosive situations. The kids got up close with the SWAT Gear and other specialized tools to keep everyone safe. The FBI SWAT Team fitness challenge proved to be just that, a challenge. The kids recognized the work involved getting in shape to become a special agent. The FBI Safe Streets Task Force, including officers from various agencies, and the evidence response team teamed-up to show how they use science to solve crimes.
 
Junior Special Agent Day develops positive relationships between the attendees and law enforcement; kids explore the use of science, technology, engineering, math and teamwork in law enforcement careers; and agents encourage lifestyles free of crime, drugs, gangs and violence.

United Way Day of Caring Comes to BGCB Clubs
 
United Way volunteers from corporations across Buffalo volunteered at several Boys & Girls of Buffalo Clubhouses and did some amazing work!
 
Volunteers got busy "spring" cleaning, landscaping and interacting with Club members with a trip to Fantasy Island. One group even received a private concert and a standing ovation from the Club they helped.
 
Volunteer groups received an overview of the agency to better understand the impact on the communities we serve and a packet of information to help them learn more as well as ways to stay engaged with us the rest of the year.
 
Thank you volunteers for helping us. We hope to see you again soon! Visit our Facebook page for a gallery of pictures from the day.

Baird Clubhouse member is awarded trip to Detroit and GM Headquarters 
 
Nukia F. was chosen as a finalist to visit GM Headquarters in Detroit this week along with several other female finalists through grants from GM and First Niagara Foundation Mentoring Matters.

"The goal is to provide kids with access to people, places, experiences and role models that look like them so they can dream and plan to be successful," said Jennifer Parker, president of Black Capital Network, who created the program in 2012 and serves as its chairperson. The students on the trip, which was organized by the 'Success Looks Like Me' role model project, will meet, dine and chat with top African-American executives, some of whom had to overcome poverty, family dysfunction, and low self-esteem to earn top jobs at one of the world's largest automakers.

Success Looks Like Me is the signature program of the Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative, a Community Foundation's philanthropy fund. It is managed by leaders of color, who also contribute to it.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo Says Goodbye
to a One-of-a-Kind Employee
 
Say "Hujambo" to Madhey, pronounced "Ma-day," an outstanding employee with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo for the past ten years.
 
Originally from Somalia, Madhey grew up in Kenya where he attended school until 8th grade. Shortly after his eighth grade graduation, he and his parents moved to the United States.
 
Madhey speaks four languages. After talking with Madhey, you quickly realize he is passionate about education and thrives on knowledge. He said, "So many in the country I left would not squander the opportunities that kids have here. I don't know why some kids here don't care. It makes me sad when I hear that kids have no interest in learning and waste time fooling around in class or getting into trouble. I am passionate about Boys & Girls Clubs because they are trying to help kids 'get it' and I can help mentor those kids and inspire them to try hard in school and perhaps pursue their education beyond high school."
 
After graduating from Grover Cleveland high school, Madhey began part-time at BGCB while earning his political science degree from Buffalo State College. Though he works full-time as a teaching assistant with the Buffalo Public schools, he has remained part-time at BGCB.
 
But such an appetite for knowledge cannot be contained and Madhey recently chose to pursue a master's degree. However, his part-time job here at BGCB would be just too much and he must say goodbye. We wish him great success and say wholeheartedly that he will be missed.
New 2015-2016 Board Members on Board with BGCB

We welcome the following individuals to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo Board of Directors.
 
They are graciously committing their, time, talents and resources to ensuring the success of our organization.
 
It is great to have them on board, full steam ahead!
Thomas Dixon - Retired, Human Resource Senior Executive
 
Joanne Hernandez - Vice President and Senior Private Client Advisor, Wilmington Trust
 
Althea E. Luehrsen - Chief Executive Officer, Leadership Buffalo
 
Neal McMullen - Director of Corporate Sales, Buffalo Bills
 
Audrey J. Meyers - Assistant Vice President, Evans Bank
Help Us by Learning About Planned Giving Options?
 
Gifts we receive from individual estates help support the important work the Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo accomplishes every day. You will make a difference in the lives of children today, as well as future generations of Club kids. Click to learn more

Mayor's Summer Youth Invade Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo
More than 120 youth from all areas of the city of Buffalo spent the day with Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo staff, Say YES and Citizen's during an annual youth seminar. 
 
The seminar prepares youth for summer employment at the BGCB and ensures a successful and educational experience.
 
The seminar's purpose is to introduce employee and employer expectations and discuss money matters before their first day on the job.
 
The seminar helps them learn how to wisely use and save their hard-earned money through an introduction to our Job Ready & Money Matters programs. Say YES discussed college prep and career goals while Citizens Bank taught youth about their paycheck and discussed checking and savings accounts.
According to Robert Lowery, Director or Program Quality, "Every summer a good number of these young people will receive a paycheck for the first time in their lives.
 
Taking the time to discuss checking and savings accounts, saving money and responsible spending is best done before employment gets underway."
 
Special thanks to Buffalo's Mayor Summer Youth  and Buffalo Employment & TrainingCenter  
programs for placing these amazing teens at the BGCB.


Corporate Partnerships / Grant Awards

It's the U in Funding that Makes All the Difference! Recent Grant Awards:

General Mills - Healthy Habits program Babcock & Eggertsville Clubhouse

Buffalo Bills - Cheerleading & Flag Football at Masten

Buffalo Wild Wings/BGCA - Flag Football Agency-Wide
Boys & Girls Clubs

NYS Alliance - Healthy Eating Habits @ Babcock, Beecher, Eggertsville & Masten

 
'Cause They Want to Help Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo
Beginning the first week in November and running through the end of December at all area Barnes & Noble stores, patrons can choose to purchase and donate a book off the Boys & Girls wish list of books. All books will be donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo.
 
Additionally, Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo will be holding a week-long book fair from November 1-7.
 
Patrons can use vouchers to purchase anything in the store and Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo will receive a percentage of the items purchased .
 
Visit our Facebook page to get your voucher and help BGCB while you shop!

Boys Scouts Work to Earn Eagle Scout Status by Engaging Masten Members
 
Boys Scout Troop 457, led by Alex Wilson, incorporated a camping experience for Masten Clubhouse members into an Eagle Scout service project.
 
The day was spent learning from the Official Boy Scout Handbook and included cooking, hiking, safety, and equipment demos. The hiking demos included a "10 essentials" overview for camping or backpacking trips, while the cooking demo included yummy camp favorites.
 
Camping gear descriptions and usage was included as well as what to look for when shopping for gear. Members learned how to set-up a tent, gather fire wood and start a fire with just the basics, no Kingsford allowed.
 
Our two (2) organizations gained plenty from each other and hope to enjoy a long-lasting friendship
 
Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo 
 
On the last Tuesday of each month, Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo open its doors to guests. These one-hour tours run 5:30-6:30 pm  and are aptly named Mission Tours because they uniquely describe our Mission through an informative and engaging walk about a club.
 
Arriving tourists are welcomed by a Club member and as they walk through the Club, a tour guide relays the Club's goals through the use of visuals. Tourists hear and see the Club hard at work while children are engaged in a variety of programs.
 
Everyone is welcomed to take a tour. Many people donate to organizations and never get to see their gifts at work. Tourists are enlightened by the work done at the clubs, some have said they learned a lot of things about us.
 
If you are interested in taking a tour or have a club or group that may be interested in attending, we'd be happy to have you. Personalized dates and times can be arranged for yourself or your group. Contact Deanna Rusek at
716-825-1016 or drusek@bgcbuffalo.org.