Published February 27, 2017 19:45
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg are celebrating 40 years of service. The clubs grew out of two teen drop-in centres established in the late 1960s, and now 11 clubs operate throughout the city.
In 2006, two clubs were formed in the South Winnipeg-St. Norbert ward; the Dalhousie Club, located in Dalhousie School and the Ryerson Club, now located beside Ryerson School in the South Winnipeg Community Centre rink "clubhouse."
The Boys and Girls Clubs play a very important role in our community. Their professional staff and dedicated volunteers serve children and youth whose circumstances affect their overall health, education, social and recreational opportunities. The clubs work with schools and social services agencies to help identify families that are unable to enrol their children in city and community programs as they struggle with financial, cultural and transportation barriers.
The clubs offer snacks and programming to youth, offering a safe alternative to the streets during after-school and evening hours. Clubs are able to offer these services through United Way support and many strong partnerships with private organizations and philanthropic donors.
Over the past 21 years, thousands of youth have participated in sporting, craft, adventure, and summer camp programs at Dalhousie and Ryerson clubs. Thousands of youth have the opportunity to interact with positive role models and mentors in safe and facilitated environment.
I cannot stress how important this is for our youth, and what a positive impact it has had and continues to have within our community. If these youth had nowhere to go, and nothing to do, we would have many more difficult challenges to deal with.
Initially the Ryerson Club was located in Ryerson School, but two years ago, due to overcrowding at Ryerson School, the Ryerson Club was asked to find a new space to operate out of. Finding any kind of space in South Winnipeg is extremely difficult due to the rapid growth our community has been experiencing. Everyone involved recognizes how important it was to keep the club going as it was a safe hub for so many new Canadians and area youth.
Ron Brown, president and chief executive officer of Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg and I approached the South Winnipeg Community Centre board. Under the leadership of Chuck Davidson, and in partnership with the City of Winnipeg community services division, we were able to do some small upgrades to the empty skating rink club house beside Ryerson School and turn it into the new home for the Ryerson Boys and Girls Club. The clubhouse is still in need of some upgrades, the community centre is struggling to keep it maintained, and we are all working together to keep it in operation. Our community needs the valuable services the Boys and Girls Clubs provide. If you are able to, please consider sharing a donation or gift of any kind in celebration of the 40 years of good work the Boys and Girls Clubs have been providing in our community. You can contact me at www.JaniceLukes.ca
- Janice Lukes, St. Norbert City Councillor Ward Report