Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas (BGCD) is proud to celebrate its 50th anniversary of serving the community as the premier youth education organization in Dallas and surrounding areas. What started as one Club in West Dallas has now grown to 14 Club locations around the Dallas Metroplex. Over the last 50 years, BGCD has collaborated with community organizations, local businesses, the Dallas Independent School District and Uplift Education to maximize resources and develop a passion for learning in all members.
“We are so grateful for our longevity and success in Dallas and the surrounding areas and are proud to have provided education and career development to more than a quarter of a million members since our inception,” said Charles English, CEO and president of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas. “Together, we will continue to provide our service to the youth in our community for the next 50 years.”
The idea for Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas was started by a group of Dallas women led by Mrs. Troy V. Post and Mrs. Clint Murchison, Jr., who saw the opportunity to develop a Boys’ Club. Soon after, approximately 50 prominent Dallas leaders met to establish Boys’ Club of Dallas, Inc., and the first official luncheon took place at the Statler Hilton in 1965. The luncheon was organized by Mrs. Troy V. Post, Mrs. Jack Shapiro, Emory Gulledge, Charles S. Sharp and Frank Heller. On May 16, 1965, Boys’ Club of Dallas Inc. hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on a 6.6-acre lot leased to them by Ward Drug Co. for $1 a year, despite its $156,000 value. The following November, Vice President Richard Nixon dedicated the West Dallas Boys Club, which was the first location.
On November 13, 1989, Boys’ Club of Dallas welcomed girls into the Club, and five years later Dallas member Lawanda Jones became the first African-American to win the National Boys & Girls Clubs of America Youth of the Year award. Since then, several competitions and events have been established such as Math Blazers, where students from various BGCD locations have the opportunity to challenge themselves in a fun yet competitive environment, and TOPPs (Threshold of Opportunities), a banquet honoring graduating seniors participating in the Collegiate STEPS program. In August 2008, BGCD kicked-off an initiative called “Project Learn” to begin changing the focus from sports to education. The initiative has since proven successful, as BGCD became the official School Extended Service (SES) provider for Dallas Independent School District in 2013.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas’ latest milestone took place in 2014 when it formally launched the first Center for a New Generation (CNG) in Texas. Co-founded by Dr. Condoleezza Rice, CNG is an innovative academic and enrichment after-school and summer program that allows the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas to integrate schools represented in the Dallas Independent School District Feeder Pattern and Uplift. CNG is located at Dunbar Elementary in Dallas and marks the 4th site in the country.
Currently, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas serves more than 6,000 youth in 14 locations who are ages six to 18 and offers proven programming in Academic Success, Good Character & Citizenship, and Healthy Lifestyles. Throughout all of BGCD’s accomplishments, two things have remained the same –its commitment to the BGCD mission and the need to reach more youth. In 2015, BGCD plans to reach 1,800 members, and in the next five years, 5,000 with an overall goal to serve 20,000 members by 2020.