( ENSPIRE Community ) Major League Baseball Star Helps Welcome New Jersey’s Newest Boys & Girls Club
ENSPIRE Contributor: Kelsea Campbell
Teaneck, NJ – On the morning of February 3, 2018, the doors to New Jerseys brand new Boys & Girls Club opened to the Township of Teaneck for the first time. Along with the support of the community, Major League Baseball Star, World Series Champion and Boys & Girls Club Alumni CC Sabathia was also an advocate for the location’s development and was present at the Clubhouse opening.
The Yankees pitcher joined the California Boys & Girls Club at the age of 6. Sabathia enlightened the crowd about the lifelong friendships he made there, and the impact the Club had on his future. “It kept me off the streets and expanded my mind by going to places I wouldn’t have been able to experience without the Boys and Girls Club,” Sabathia said.
Joseph J. Licata, Chief Executive Officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lodi, Hackensack, and now Teaneck emphasized his enthusiasm for the newest location. “Our organization is delighted to be able to create great futures for children in the Township of Teaneck.” Those who attended were there to support the project and parents ready to sign their kids up. The Bergen County Sheriff Office was there and made a notable donation to the program along with others.
Licata continued to thank those who had a strong influence on the locations birth. “A Boys & Girls Club of Teaneck would not be possible without the support of many people and organizations, but in particular it was Teaneck Resident, Darryl Greene who truly pushed to get a Club for the children of Teaneck. In addition, the administration and parishioners of Christ’s Episcopal Church in Teaneck generously were able to provide us with a home in Teaneck.” There was a lot of support from the local community. The Bergen County Sheriff’s Department made a notable donation to the new location.
Darryl Green, a Teaneck resident who had been pushing for the opening of a Club for four years shared “I’m proud of my community. I’m seeing people today of all ethnic and economic backgrounds coming together to support the kids.”
The purpose of the Boys & Girls Club of America is to provide a haven for children ages 6-18 to be mentored in areas such as academic success, healthy lifestyles, and good character and citizenship in the after-school hours and summer months. The Club first opened in Lodi, New Jersey in 1951 and expanded to Hackensack in 2003. Now, disadvantaged children and teens in Teaneck can walk through the doors of the Clubs location – Christ’s Episcopal Church’s Education Annex – and receive the tools and guidance to shape a better future for themselves.
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The very first member of The Teaneck, NJ Boys & Girls Club[/caption]