During its virtually reimagined Champions for Children celebration on Saturday, Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County announced a change to its name to better reflect its impact on the communities the nonprofit serves. With the addition of its sixth Club location in Arcadia, the organization formally changed its name to Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties.
“This announcement means so much more to our organization than just a name change,” said Bill Sadlo, President/CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties. “This evolution of our brand is a testament to five decades of impact on thousands of local youth and families across our region. Now, more than ever, we are committed to the success of our future leaders in both Sarasota County and DeSoto County.”
The organization is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, and Sadlo says this name change could not have come at a better time.
“The new name is the perfect platform to launch into our next 50 years as a leader in positive youth development,” he said. “As we embark on this new era, we are positioned to provide even greater opportunities to those we serve through bold initiatives, including capital projects and enhanced programming and safety efforts in Arcadia, Newtown and North Port.”
In Arcadia, the organization is currently transforming the site of the Louis and Gloria Flanzer Boys & Girls Club into a full-service facility in accordance with the City of Arcadia and various partners. The project includes the addition of a 8800 sq. ft. building that will have a commercial kitchen, food pantry, 21st century classrooms, office space and more. Once this initiative is completed next summer, the Louis and Gloria Flanzer Boys & Girls Club will be able to serve at least 250 Club members between the ages of 6 and 18, and provide them with educational, recreational and developmental programs.
In Newtown, the nonprofit will begin renovating and outfitting the Roy McBean Boys & Girls Club thanks to a lead gift from Marilyn Naiditch made in honor of her husband and long-time Boys & Girls Clubs Board Member, Irv Naiditch. The improvements include the installation of 21st century program areas for enhanced workforce development training and increased safety measures. The site will be named The Irving and Marilyn Naiditch Campus, home of the Roy McBean Boys & Girls Club.
In North Port, the agency’s Board of Directors organized a task force with prominent community leaders to examine the area’s rapid growth and strategize ways in which programs and reach can be expanded.
“We are so excited for this next chapter, and look forward to continually developing new and innovative ways we can ensure thousands of children and teens continue to achieve their full potential,” said Sadlo. “Inside our Clubs, youth are becoming leaders, developing life skills, discovering passions, connecting with mentors and participating in programs that they may not otherwise have the chance to experience.”
In addition to its 50th anniversary, the organization has also celebrated other accomplishments this year such as strengthening safety and security efforts; congratulating Club member Marguerite Andrich for securing the 2020 Florida Youth of the Year title; and launching services to continue serving local youth and families throughout the pandemic such as a new daytime program for remote learners, food distribution sites, virtual learning and a new program to serve children of first responders.
In fact, since the beginning of 2020, the organization has been presented with a variety of awards and honors such as a 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator; the National Major Gifts Program Award from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America; the Florida and Southeast Region Board Member of the Year Award for chair-elect Meghan Serrano from Boys & Girls Clubs of America; and the Bull By The Horns Sandies Award from the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance.
“We’re able to provide top-notch programs to the youth and families we serve because we have such an incredible community whose generosity enables us to continue growing our impact,” said Sadlo. “We extend sincere gratitude and appreciation for our supporters who have all played such instrumental roles in getting us to this milestone today. We are so proud to serve Sarasota and DeSoto Counties.”
For more information, visit bgcsdc.org.
ABOUT BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF SARASOTA AND DESOTO COUNTIES:
Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties has been a leading youth-serving organization since 1970, and provides enriching after-school and summer programs to thousands of youth, ages 6 to 18, in Sarasota, Venice, North Port and Arcadia. The organization’s mission is toenable all young people, especially those who need services the most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. The programs are designed to empower youth to excel in school, become leaders, adopt healthy habits and create plans for success after high school graduation. For more information, visit bgcsdc.org or call 941-366-3911.