Boys & Girls Club of Lubbock celebrates 80 years - FOX34 Lubbock

Boys & Girls Club of Lubbock celebrates 80 years

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

A staple in Lubbock's youth education is celebrating 80 years of service.

Now known as the Boys & Girls Club of Lubbock, it started as the Boys Club in 1940. The idea was born three years earlier, but the club failed twice before securing enough money to keep it going.

"There were some, a group of individuals in our community. They all kinda got together and saw that there was a need for young boys to have a place to go to keep them out of trouble and so that's how the boy's club actually became here in Lubbock," Executive Director Tom Vermillion said.

A few Lubbock businessmen knew the importance of youth having somewhere to go. When World War II disrupted Lubbock's community recreational programs for kids, the Boys & Girls Club filled the void. 

"Back in the 40's there was nowhere for young kids to go," Vermillion said. "The reason for the clubs really was to help really provide an avenue for those young people to go to everyday after school and in the summer months."

Things certainly have changed in the past 80 years. In 1993, the all-boys club started welcoming girls, effectively becoming the Boys & Girls Club.

"Once we go into a community, we're pretty much making that commitment to be in that neighborhood for a long long time," Vermillion said.

Today, there are five locations across the Lubbock area - each focusing on three main goals.

The first academic success, making sure kids are getting the help they need with homework and moving up in grade levels. 

"Another area is good citizenship, you know, and character. We try to focus on those areas as well with all of our kids," Vermillion said.

Good nutrition is also key at the club. That goal met with a health meal served every day and physical activity.

Each club is different with the board surveying parents to find out what's most needed in a certain area. 

"Boys and girls clubs really tries to deal with life issues for kids," Vermillion said. "As far as programming wise, we do try to make sure that it fits that particular need. That may be the same program as far as the overall name with that, but it's actually focusing on different things within that neighborhood,"

As far as plans for the future go, a new center is up and running in West Lubbock. The club is also working on growing a program with the Shallowater School District.

Vermillion says the more kids it can serve the better. 

"It really means a lot when you have kids that you saw grow up, and you, whether they were great kids or you had issues with some of those kids or whatever -- and then to see them as adults and that they're out doing well," he said. "You know, they've got a job and they've got a family. It makes you feel really really well as far as that you've accomplished something."

To join a Boys & Girls Club in our area its costs just $10 a year.

More information and how to get involved can be found - here

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