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BGCSDC celebrates a significant milestone with a ceremonial groundbreaking for the Steven and Marjolaine Townsend Campus, home of the Gene Matthews Boys & Girls Club

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On Tuesday, March 12, nearly 100 guests gathered for a ceremonial groundbreaking at the Steven and Marjolaine Townsend Campus, home of the Gene Matthews Boys & Girls Club, with support from Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Jaime and Julie DiDomenico, Atlanta Braves Foundation, Congressman Greg Steube’s Office, Alex Armstrong, and Jimmy Devellano.

A renovation of the Gene Matthews Boys & Girls Club was already on the horizon due to the urgent need to serve the rapidly expanding community of North Port.  However, the irreparable damage caused by Hurricane Ian in 2022 accelerated that timeline.

To ensure today’s youth have the skills, resources, and opportunities to be the leaders of tomorrow, a new 14,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility will be built in the same location that has served local families for over 25 years.

Once completed, the interior will feature academic classrooms, a commercial teaching kitchen, a food pantry for local families, a technology lab, a dedicated teen center, a college and career center, and much more. Club members will also be able to enjoy the outdoors with a newly renovated sun-shaded playground, recreation pavilion, and health and fitness center.

During the program, President/CEO Bill Sadlo shared program outcomes and project highlights and acknowledged key stakeholders. Subsequent remarks from lead donors conveyed enthusiasm for the transformative project and its potential to enhance not only Club members’ experiences but also benefit an expanding community.   

The celebration was also timed to thank the Atlanta Braves while they were still in town for Spring Training. In her remarks, Vice President, Community Affairs & Executive Director, Atlanta Braves Foundation, Danielle Bedasse, emphasized the ongoing commitment of the Atlanta Braves Foundation to improve access to sports, health, education, and well-being for families within the communities they are located stating, “we are here not only during spring training but also year-round. This is an important partnership to the Braves and also to MLB. This just ended up being a really perfect match for us.”  

The program concluded with ceremonial groundbreaking photos, followed by a wiffle ball game, giveaways of Braves merchandise, and treats from the Kona Ice truck, all made possible by the Atlanta Braves Foundation's generous support.

Read More - In the News:

Atlanta Braves invest in North Port community with new Boys & Girls Club – SNN News (

North Port celebrates new beginning for Boys & Girls Club | News |

Ground broken for Boys & Girls Club - Herald-Tribune (


TownsendCampusGM Photos

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