Tag Archives: South Queens Boys & Girls Club

South Queens Boys & Girls Club pours foundation on state-of-the-art renovation


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

After decades of building a solid foundation for the community, the South Queens Boys & Girls Club (SQBGC) is finally getting a new foundation of its own.

The SQBGC was able to take down one existing wing of its building, which will be replaced by a 35,000-square-foot state-of-the-art addition.

In the new area, there will be three-and-a-half stories filled with a new education center, a regulation size gym and administrative space.

The remaining wing will be redone after the new section is built, and will house a performance arts center, community space, technology centers and more.

“What [the club has] provided for our residents and the help they’ve given. . . just to expand that tradition of help to the community, it’ll create a long-standing future,” said Senator Joseph Addabbo, an advocate of the project.

Addabbo joined Borough President Helen Marshall and SQBGC officials on Tuesday, September 18 at a foundation pouring to mark the project’s beginning. The building, located on Atlantic Avenue in South Richmond Hill, has been home to the Boys & Girls Club since 1957, and administrators say a renovation is long overdue.

“I promised myself that before I left, I would see this club rebuilt,” said Joseph Ferrara, SQBGC chair emeritus, who has been with the club since the late 1960s,

The SQBGC has raised $8.64 million for the project, with the help of local officials.

“This funding . . . will provide a rich harvest of talented youngsters who will be better able to achieve their potential and success as productive and caring individuals, who will make their mark on society,” said Marshall.

“I think the kids will be here enjoying this facility for years to come. If we can keep them off the streets, then we did our job,” said Ferrara. “I’m very proud of this day.”

Structural steel for the addition is scheduled to rise up in the fall of this year, and occupancy is expected for late 2013.

“When we cut the ribbon here, I’ll never forget that,” said Addabbo.

Courier brings early Christmas to SQBGC


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Melissa Chan and Billy Rennison

Their eyes glistened like Christmas lights as they saw the dozens upon dozens of wrapped gifts that were laid out before them.

And soon, their booming chants of “Santa! Santa! Santa!” would summon St. Nick.

Or at least “Santa Steve,” but still a jolly man in red who came bumbling in with the promise of presents.

On Thursday, December 15, Courier reporters — playing Santa and his Christmas elves — distributed hundreds of toys to the underprivileged youngsters of the South Queens Boys & Girls Club (SQBGC).

“I think that’s the earliest Santa has ever come [to the Boys & Girls club]. It was a really nice surprise for them,” said Denis Dwyer, the club’s program director. “They had no clue. It really made their day.”

Thanks to generous donations from the All American Car Club in Ozone Park, constituents of Assemblymember Ed Braunstein and Courier staff, advertisers and readers, The Courier was able to donate hundreds of toys to the Boys & Girls Club — with sacks of presents left over for the remaining club members at their holiday party.

The first 30 kids — out of a group of more than 50 — to receive gifts were chosen and rewarded based on the high points they accumulated doing their homework at the club, Dwyer said.

“We picked kids who have been hitting the books hard,” he said, adding that most of them were in kindergarten through second grade.

And the excitement of the young group helped to douse any doubts other kids might have had about the real St. Nick.

“They really believed Santa was there,” Dwyer said.

After all the gifts were distributed, each eager child gripped his own as they counted down from three with Santa Steve.

And then off flew the wrapping paper — unveiling Barbie dolls, race cars, board games and more.

“There was a nice buzz about that the whole day, and we had a lot of kids running to their parents at the end of the day to tell them and show them their new toys,” Dwyer said.

Founded in 1957, SQBGC strives to help young people improve their lives by building self-esteem and developing values and skills during critical periods of growth. The group’s mission is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from at-risk and disadvantaged circumstances.

The Courier plays Santa for South Queens Boys & Girls Club


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo by Melissa Chan.

The Queens Courier got a sneak peek of what Christmas morning would be like for the youngsters of the South Queens Boys & Girls Club (SQBGC).

On Thursday, December 15, Courier reporters — playing Santa and his Christmas elves — distributed hundreds of toys to the club’s underprivileged kids.

Founded in 1957, SQBGC strives to help young people improve their lives by building self-esteem and developing values and skills during critical periods of growth. The group’s mission is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from at-risk and disadvantaged circumstances.

The Courier would like to thank the All-American Car Club and constituents of Assemblymember Ed Braunstein in District 26, who gave toys from their own toy drive.

Check back with queenscourier.com and see our December 22 issue for the full story.

Click here to view more photos.

 

Remember the needy this holiday season


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, and the holiday shopping season is in full swing.

So, as you shop, please remember to pick up an extra gift or two, as once again The Courier will be playing Santa – this year to benefit the children and teens of the South Queens Boys & Girls Club.

In this edition you can find a list of what they need and how you can help brighten a child’s holiday this year.

Please help us play Santa once again.