Inspiring Our Youth
For over 60 years now, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Carlsbad have inspired the youth of the community by offering educational, enriching and fun experiences for thousands of children. The Clubs are a place for youth to call their own and develop a sense of belonging in values based programs. The 100% private donor supported Clubs thrive due to the passion of the leaders and volunteers, the dedication of families and the affordable and coveted programs that are in place. We had the opportunity to watch boys and girls in action while they worked together as a team, respected one another, and took on leadership roles all while having fun. Pat Maldi, Director of Marketing and Special Events for the Clubs, shared with us why The Boys & Girls Clubs of Carlsbad has become a vital part of the Carlsbad community. There are exciting thing happening in 2013, specifically with the Bressi Ranch Clubhouse grand opening in January. Hundreds of boys and girls who have been waiting to get in on the fun, will now have the opportunity to be part of the Club! As the Clubs celebrate sixty years of serving Carlsbad kids, they are looking forward to continuing to impact the community for another sixty plus years!
92009: What is the history behind the Carlsbad Boys & Girls Clubs? Describe the two Clubs available for Carlsbad community members.
Maldi: Boys & Girls Clubs of Carlsbad has served nearly 75,000 youth since it opened its doors in 1952 as the Carlsbad Boys Club (coincidentally that was the same year the City of Carlsbad was incorporated). At first, the Club functioned mostly as a recreational site where young boys found a safe, fun-filled nurturing environment. It served as a “home away from home” for many single-parent working families.
In 1992, the Club officially changed its name to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Carlsbad, following the lead of the national organization to include females in its daily programming. Today, the Club emphasizes teaching positive life skills, provides educational enhancement, as well as a full spectrum of arts, recreation, and leadership development opportunities.
Over the past 60 years, the Club’s original location on Roosevelt Street in the Village of Carlsbad has been renovated five times. The most recent renovation, completed in 1999, marked the most dramatic changes in the Club with the addition of a dedicated technology center, covered swimming pool, gym, and teen center. A second facility, housed in a mobile unit, was established in 1982 in La Costa to serve the southern sector of the city.
When it was originally established, the La Costa Branch was intended for temporary duty. Due to the tremendous growth in that part of the city, it was literally bursting at the seams. In 2005, the Club forged ahead with their dream to build a new state-of-the-art Clubhouse in the geographic center of our city – Bressi Ranch.
Phased construction began in 2008 on the Bressi Ranch Clubhouse, and that site began serving a limited number of children when it partially opened in 2011. Concurrently, the La Costa Branch was closed. We are currently completing the last phase of construction, and look forward to serving 300 children daily at the Bressi Clubhouse. Another 200 youngsters participate in the Village Branch after-school program.
92009: What facilities and amenities do you have at the Clubs for boys & girls to use?
Maldi: Our Clubhouses satisfy that age-old desire for kids to have a place to call their own. Our Village Branch includes a dedicated teen center, swimming pool, gym, homework room, technology lab, art room, and patio. The Bressi Ranch Clubhouse includes similar facilities plus a dance/drama room, music studio, kitchen, and large games room.
92009: Phase 2 of the Bressi Ranch Clubhouse is underway. What’s the timeline for completion and when complete, what will the facilities consist of?
Maldi: The last phase of the Bressi Ranch Clubhouse will be completed in January 2013. We are so excited! Currently there are nearly 200 kids on the waiting list, and we look forward to wiping that out.
92009: How many children does each Club service on a daily basis?
Maldi: We currently serve about 300 kids daily – with the opening of the entire Bressi Clubhouse we will be serving about 500 kids each and every day. That does not include the youth that participate in our leagues, middle school sports programs, and other outreach activities.
92009: Describe your After School Programs. Teens Program. Kids Camp Programs.
Maldi: At the Boys & Girls Club, it’s up to the child to choose what to do. They walk in, swipe their membership card, and it’s their clubhouse. They can work on a power point presentation in the computer lab, participate in art projects, get their homework done, play a game in the gym, or take a dip in the pool.
Members are given the freedom to make their own choices of what activities they’d like to participate in, gaining independence and self-confidence in the process.
There are also “clubs within the club” like Smart Girls, Reading Club, Garden Club, Cooking Club, Triple Play, Torch/Keystone Leadership Clubs, and Music Club. Kids earn points by participating in activities, and get to “spend” the points at the end of the month on prizes. In this way, they learn the importance of being involved in what life has to offer.
The teens (13 – 18) have their own dedicated area and lounge featuring a big screen TV, computers with internet access, and games. It gives the teens a place to hang out and call their own. Keystone Club is one of our premier youth leadership and service programs. Designed to help teens become leaders, Keystone members elect officers, choose their own activities, and plan and implement community service projects.
“Our buildings may look like bricks and mortar to someone walking down the street, but lives are changed within our walls.”
Director of Marketing & Special Events
Boys & Girls Clubs of Carlsbad
92009: How does one get their kids involved with the programs at the Clubs?
Maldi: It’s easy – fill out an application, pay the annual membership fee of $25 and that’s it!
92009: Tell us about your staff and how they are trained to provide educational, enriching and fun opportunities for the children.
Maldi: Our Youth Development Professionals participate in trainings provided by Boys & Girls Clubs of America, are CPR-certified, and have undergone rigorous background checks.
92009: What are the fees involved with having boys and girls attend programs at the Clubs? Do you have scholarship and/or financial aid opportunities for families?
Maldi: There is a $25 annual membership fee – this is being raised to $50 in 2013 (first raise in 20+ years). In addition, there is a $50/month fee for the after school program. Full day kids camps are offered when school is not in session; those run about $20/day. Transportation from school to the Club is also offered at a nominal fee (depending upon distance). Financial aid is available for all fees; no child is ever turned away due to inability to pay.
92009: Tell us about how one goes about becoming a sponsor or supporting the Boys & Girls Clubs financially.
Maldi: It’s easy to become a sponsor and there’s a myriad of ways to support – by making a donation, becoming a sponsor of a sports team or at a special event, or becoming a board member.
92009: Do you have opportunities for community members to volunteer their time? If so, please tell us the opportunities available.
Maldi: Volunteer opportunities are available – working with the kids directly, being a board member, being a member of a special fundraising event committee, or volunteering the day of a special event.
92009: You have a Wish List on your website. How does one go about providing items you are in need of? What are your top five biggest needs?
Maldi: Items on our “wish list” can be donated to either Clubhouse location, or people wishing to donate can call and we will pick them up. Currently, our five biggest needs are: buses/vans for transportation, new computers for the new Clubhouse, arts and crafts supplies, large game tables (ie: foosball, ping pong, shuffleboard, etc.), and computer software.
92009: What sets the Carlsbad Boys & Girls Clubs apart from other Boys & Girls Clubs?
Maldi: Each Boys & Girls Club is independently operated, and is responsible for their own fundraising, programming, strategic planning, etc. With little fanfare or commotion, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Carlsbad has become a vital part of the Carlsbad community’s social safety net. Many of our alumni routinely say that the Club not only had a huge impact on their future, but that being a part of the Club actually saved their lives. Our buildings may look like bricks and mortar to someone walking down the street, but lives are changed within our walls. Our Clubhouse is filled with stories of success, and we are proud of the accomplishments so many of our members have achieved. We are extremely grateful for the amazing generosity of our donors and volunteers, as they are the true investors in our mission.
92009: What are some of the most popular fundraising events the Clubs host every year?
Maldi: April: Annual Golf Tournament presented by TaylorMade® at Aviara Golf Club
July: Vigilucci’s Beach Bocce World Championship at Dog Beach in Del Mar
September: Annual Gala at La Costa Resort and Spa
October: LC35 Annual Poker Tournament at The Crossings in Carlsbad
November: Annual Wine Tasting at La Costa Wine Company, Shop Under the Stars at Carlsbad Premium Outlets
92009: Are there any exciting new projects, developments or programs coming to the Clubs you would like to share?
Maldi: The most exciting new development is the opening of our state-of-the-art Clubhouse in Bressi Ranch in January!!
92009: If you could grant one wish to the Carlsbad Boys & Girls Clubs, what would that be?
Maldi: One wish would be to establish a foundation, to ensure the financial health of our organization. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Carlsbad is 100% funded by local donors. Each year, we start at zero and raise nearly $1.5 million for operating costs. Much of that money is to provide scholarships for our members – even though the cost is very low, many cannot afford it. As we celebrate sixty years of serving Carlsbad kids, it would be a bonus to be fiscally secure so we can continue to impact our community for another sixty plus years!
[tabs style=”1″] [tab title=” At A Glance”]
Full Name: Boys & Girls Clubs of Carlsbad
3115 Roosevelt Street
Carlsbad 92008, 760-729-0956
Bressi Ranch Clubhouse
2730 Bressi Ranch Way, Carlsbad 92009, 760-683-5106
P.O. Box 913, Carlsbad 92018
Website: Website: www.bgccarlsbad.org
Hours: Monday-Friday 2-6 pm (8 p.m. and later for teens), 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. on school holidays
Enrollment: 1,000+ boys & girls [/tab] [tab title=”Awards”]
• Named #1 Club in the nation by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (2004)
• Winner of 17 Marketing & Communications Awards by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (2006-2012)
• National Organization on Disability Award Recognition for PALS program (2007)
• Club Alumni Greg Nelson inducted into Boys & Girls Clubs of America National Hall of Fame (joining notables such as Denzel Washington, Jennifer Lopez, and Collin Powell) – (2008)
• Non-profit Organization of the Year by Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce (2012)
• Spirit of Carol Seligman Award given to Director of Marketing/Events Pat Maldi by North County Philanthropy Council (2012)