Author Angie

The school year is in full swing, and so are our Clubs! Whether your child has been a member for years or this is their first opportunity, we are ready to provide them with a safe, fun and welcoming place to come after school. Our Club isn’t just a location your child spends an hour or two. It’s where they can find their unlimited potential, surrounded by strong mentors who believe in them.

We put together a few FAQ’s with all the info you need to know about your child becoming a Club Member. If we missed anything, please feel to call us at 616.233.9370 or email us at info@bgcgrandrapids.org.

WHO can become a member? We welcome all children in 1st grade through 12th grade.

HOW MUCH does it cost? Memberships are only $5 per year.

WHERE are you located? We have three club locations in Grand Rapids. Transportation is available from select elementary schools to the Clubs. Contact us to learn more.

  • Steil Club – 235 Straight Ave NW
  • Paul I. Phillips Club – 726 Madison Ave SE
  • Seidman Club – 139 Crofton SE

WHEN are you open? We are open Monday-Friday from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm (8:00 pm for teens) during the school year. We are closed for school holidays and when GRPS schools close for inclement weather. We are also open in the summer from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. We host monthly Teen Nights and Family Nights. Our calendar is always up to date with our hours and events.

WHAT do kids do while at the Club? Along with providing a FUN and safe environment, we have a variety of programming geared toward enabling all of our members to become the best they can be. We offer activities geared toward our five youth development pillars: Education, the Arts, Character and Leadership, Healthy Lifestyles and Sports and Recreation. We serve snacks and meals each day. In addition, Club Members enjoy opportunities for field trips, unique experiences and college scholarships.

WHY join Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids? Other than having fun and learning new things, below are some of the top ways being a Boys & Girls Club member can benefit your child:

  • Club Kids Have Better Outcomes
    For more than 80 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids have changed and saved young lives during the out-of-school time. We want every child in Grand Rapids to be in a safe, constructive environment when they are not at home or in school. We provide that safe haven for more than 2,500 youth every year.

  • Clubs Help Teens Graduate from High School Prepared for a Great Future
    Each year, 1 out of 6 students fails to graduate from high school on time. Ensuring that every Club member graduates from high school on time with a solid plan for their future is of the highest priority for Boys & Girls Clubs. We offer homework help, tutoring, educational enrichment and college preparation programs designed to support young people’s academic achievement.

  • Clubs Foster Good Character and Citizenship
    Throughout more than a century of existence, Boys & Girls Clubs have worked to foster young people’s integrity and good character, their ability to make positive life choices, their belief that they can bring about positive change in their communities, and their compassion and willingness to serve others.

  • Clubs Help Kids Lead Healthy Lifestyles and Avoid Risky Behaviors
    Clubs play an important role in providing a safe space to exercise, compete in team sports and establish lifelong friendships. Teens who stay involved in a Club are more likely than their peers to have healthy habits, including being physically active and abstaining from risky behaviors.
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Patrick Placzkowski

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Following a six-month national search, Patrick Placzkowski has been chosen to lead the Boys & Girls Club of Grand Rapids, which serves more than 2,500 youths each year and includes facilities throughout the city and Camp O’Malley in Alto.  

“Patrick brings a wealth of leadership experience to the Boys & Girls Club that will enable the organization to perform at its highest level,” said Dustin Hopkins, Chair of the Board of Directors.  “I speak for the entire board when I say that we could not have found a better leader to guide us through these challenging times for mission-driven organizations that rely so heavily on the generosity of the communities they serve.”

Placzkowski earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point and his master’s degree from the University of Illinois – Urbana.  He was recruited in 2012 by Van Andel Institute to lead their fundraising initiatives as their Director of Development.  Prior to that, he was with the American Institute for Cancer Research in Washington, DC.  

“The Boys & Girls Club, in partnership with the Grand Rapids Police Department, serves a large underserved population of youths.  Through mentoring, coaching, and structured activities, these kids are provided a safe and healthy environment in which to explore and pursue their talents and ambitions,” said Placzkowski.  “My job is to ensure that every child who passes through our door will trust us with helping him or her achieve their hopes and dreams. That’s our mission.”

About Boys & Girls Club of Grand Rapids:  Our mission is to enable all young people to reach their full potential as responsible citizens through education, recreation, and positive community experiences in partnership with the Grand Rapids Police Department.

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Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Police Department have partnered to offer Pathways to Policing, a mentoring and training program that provides members and alumni a way to explore law enforcement career opportunities, specifically within GRPD.

Pathways to Policing is composed of two, six week program cycles led by club staff and GRPD officers. The program includes mentoring, hands-on training, test preparation, interview and life skill development, and exclusive behind the scenes access reserved especially for this group.

Pathways to Policing is open to any member or alumni of Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids, ages 13 to 20, free of charge. If you are not a current member or alumni and would like to participate, you simply need to complete a membership form and pay the $5.00 annual fee. Interested individuals must also complete a program application and after review, will be notified of their participant status.

Interested candidates must complete a Pathways to Policing application, found on the BGCGR website or at any BGCGR location. Upon receipt, program staff will review applications and verify eligibility requirements. Participants will be notified of their status prior to the start of the program. Potential candidates may be requested to schedule an in-person interview prior to the start of the program.

The program begins on September 29 and takes place on Mondays from 6-8pm, attendance is mandatory.

Click here for the application!

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On June 1, club members from all three Club locations gathered at Paul I. Phillips Club to celebrate our 5th annual Rising Stars ceremony. This event recognizes and uplifts our 5th graders transitioning into middle school,  8th graders transitioning to high school,  and our graduating seniors.

The evening began with a spectacular spread of food prepared by our fantastic club and camp kitchen staff,  led by Bob Gumbert. Our 2017 Youth of the Year, Zsana Hoskins took the stage as our Emcees and set the joyful tone for the evening from their very first words. Members and their families enjoyed a keynote speech by 2016 Holland Youth of the Year winner, Abria Franklin, in which she stressed the importance of believing in yourself and reaching for your dreams.

Certificates were presented to all our Rising Stars as their names were called from the podium by our Club Directors. Program Awards were announced and presented to high-performing members from each area of the clubs including the games rooms, gyms,  art rooms,  performing arts and teen spaces.

We couldn’t have had a better time championing our transitioning members as the school year came to a close! And a huge thank you goes out to MassMutual of Mid-Michigan who sponsored the event!

“We appreciate the opportunity to partner with a program that makes such a significant impact on the families and communities it serves,” said Mark A. Keating CLU,  CLTC President/CEO of MassMutual of Mid-Michigan. “The Rising Stars Ceremony is reflective of the values we share in recognizing the achievements for these extraordinary students as they transition into the next stage of their journey.”

 

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Selected among several local outstanding youth, Zsana Hoskins has been named the 2017 Grand Rapids Youth of the Year and the Michigan Youth of the Year. Zsana will receive scholarship funds from both Lake Michigan Credit Union and other community partners in regards to her win at the state level.The Youth of the Year program honors our nations’ most awe-inspiring young people on their path to great futures and encourages all kids to lead, succeed and inspire. As the new Youth of the Year for Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids, 14-year old Zsana is a true example of an extraordinary young woman recognized by BGCA for her leadership, service, academic excellence and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle.

Zsana is a freshman at East Kentwood High School. She has been a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth since 2012 and is a member at the Paul I. Phillips Club. Zsana is a member of the choir and participates in other volunteer opportunities in her community. She is also a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs Performing Arts program.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids local Youth of the Year event was sponsored by Lake Michigan Credit Union, BarFly Events, Meijer, Steelcase, BlueWater, Eastern Floral, RediRental, Malone IT Group, GRPS, Ferris State University, Chemical Bank, PNC Bank, Magic 104.9, Channel 95.7 and WGRD 97.9.

 

Thank you for all of your support!

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St. Stephens Parish was called into action eight years ago to provide Thanksgiving Dinner at Steil Boys & Girls Clubs. Not knowing the exact needs or the outcome, their community heard the call for service and collectively prepared and served dinner to over 200 members and their families. Since this time, John and Julie VanGessel have called upon the community of East Grand Rapids as a whole to purchase, prepare, and serve this holiday meal each year. Their friends, family, and even some strangers offer their time, talents, and treasures to ensure that this favorite tradition to share in fellowship with the families of Steil Club continues to happen. A special thanks to the Marianne and Roger Schlick and Suzanne Wickman for their assistance in organization of this event.

THANK YOU! We cannot wait for this year’s feast!

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