NATIONAL FINE ARTS PROGRAM
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo is one of over 4,000 Clubs across the country that joined in a search for talented young artists. The competition was part of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s (BGCA) National Fine Arts Exhibit program, a comprehensive initiative promoting young people’s creativity, and encouraging artistic skills and cultural enrichment.
As a participant in the National Fine Arts Exhibit program, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo had the opportunity to submit members’ artwork in four (4) age divisions and 10 categories including watercolor, pastel, oil, acrylic and collage.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo exhibited artwork of 74 members which were created at 13 Club locations throughout Buffalo, Amherst and Cheektowaga as part of a partnership between Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo and the Ashford Hollow Arts Foundation. The winners are:
Kaylee Schlesinger, Age 8 Jamela Miko Kadir, Age 10
Curtis Flakes, Age 10 Kaitlyn Golubski, Age 9
Julia Lee, Age 9 Kayla Ciesilkowski, Age 9
Dial Rivera-Stevens. Age 12 Hamido Muse, Age 11
Lewis Tirado, Age 14 Rachel Chapin, Age 13
Mixed Media Group Artwork
Marissa Lee-Lagares, Age 8 Tkai Smith, Age 9
Michael Maygas, Age 10 Magdalen McCulloch, Age 9
Faith Hill, Age 11 Chantel Morrisey, Age 10
Mariah Lynn McHenry, Age 13 Mina Isham, Age 10
The judges for this event included: Mark Griffis, Director of Design and President of the Griffis Art Studio and Marcus Wise, Owner of Marcus Wise Photography.
Selected artwork advanced to the regional level and a limited number will be sent to BGCA’s Atlanta headquarters for judging at the national level with 37 national winners to be named and their artwork displayed at special events throughout the year.
Alemaedae Theater and Road Less Travelled Productions donated $139.55 from the opening night proceeds of their production of The Wonderful World of Peter Williams to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo. The themes of this comedic tale included young boys coming of age, single parenting, bullying, sexual orientation and self-acceptance and highlighted the importance of positive role models. The play, written by Alemaedae founder and CEO Phil Davis Sr. is a sequel to the successful comedy So Fierce: Peter Williams. We want to thank the Alemaedae Theater Group, Road Less Travelled Productions and Mr. Davis for their generosity.
Shopping 4 Shoes
200 club members were given the opportunity to indulge in some retail therapy in late January as part of the annual Payless Gives Shoes 4 Kids program. Club members visited local Payless Shoe stores and each were given a $20 merchandise certificate to purchase new shoes. Both clubs staff and the store’s associates assisted in ensuring that each child found shoes in the appropriate size and fit.
Because of the success of our Money Matters programs at the club level, we had some serious “bargain hunters” and many of the kids were able to purchase shoes, boots, slippers as well as socks or accessories with their certificates. “It was absolutely a wonderful experience to place new shoes on children’s feet and smiles on their faces” stated one of the Payless Shoe Source employees who assisted our junior shoppers. What a treat to start out a new year with a new pair of shoes!!
Many, many thanks to the Payless Shoe Source managers and associates who helped to make this program such a resounding success.
Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Staff and club members paid tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. This particular day also celebrated the second inauguration of Barack Obama, our first African American president.
Club members learned of Dr. Kings legacy of non-violent protest, they learned about segregation and the racism in our country throughout the early 20th century. They attentively watched his "I Have Dream Speech" from the march on Washington in August 1963.African American Heritage Month
Discussion groups reviewed racial issues of the present day, and how the world has changed for the better since the time of Dr. King. Members were asked to create artwork that highlighted dreams for America that we displayed throughout the Clubs.
Throughout the month of February, we celebrated the cultural contribution of African Americans as part of the national African American History Month celebration. In an effort to gain greater awareness of the significant role of the civil rights movement, club members researched landmark moments in history such as the Emancipation Proclamation, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the March on Washington, and famous Americans like Rosa Park, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mary Bethune, Jackie Robinson, George Washington Carver Duke Ellington, and Mae Jemison.
African American music, dance and drum presentations were also included in our celebrations, and the month culminated with a celebration of spiritual music featuring critically acclaimed lyric soprano Kathleen Battle and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra who performed for many of our club members.
Reach For Your Goal
Behavioral Psychologists will tell you that one of the best ways to achieve a goal is to write it down and place it somewhere that you will see it every day.
Club members of our Woodrow Wilson club have taken that idea one step further and created a beautiful art piece that incorporates that concept.
Each member traced an outline of their outstretched arms, colored and painted them and then placed their written goals in the palm of each hand. They were then assembled & displayed on a bulletin board exhibit. From a distance, this artwork looks like a colorful forest, but up close you will see the hopes and goals of each of the club members.
Leaving a Legacy to Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo
We know that many of you would like to help our kids, but may not know how. One idea you might consider is a charitable bequest.
A bequest is a gift you can make without using any of your current financial resources. It is simply a commitment made in your will to leave a future amount, a specific financial asset, or percentage of your estate to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo. Tax smart gift planning can help you increase tax protection within your financial and estate plans. Your gift would be especially important to us because it would help us continue our work in ensuring great futures for our youth.
If you have already included us in your estate plan, please let us know so that we can recognize and thank you. To learn more about how to create a bequest in your will or to request our free guide to creating your will or trust, please visit our website www.bgcbuffalo.org or contact the Resource Development Department of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo at 825–1016.
Growing………. & Giving
Club members of our Southside Clubhouse, located in the former school of St. Thomas Aquinas Church, created an indoor greenhouse where they are growing herbs, spices and decorative annuals. The goal of the program is two-fold. First, members utilize their science skills to design flower beds, plant, water and cultivate a variety of plants. When the plants mature, the herbs and spices will be harvested and used for St. Thomas Aquinas Church’s community table program, which last year provided warm lunches to over 3,000 people. The colorful annuals will be used to “spruce-up” the St. Thomas Aquinas campus to bring a touch of spring to the South Buffalo community.
160 teen members turned out for our annual "Winter Celebration" held at our Babcock Clubhouse. In addition to wonderful food, provided through the generosity of the Delaware North Companies, there were a myriad of fun activities including a Madden Tournament, The Black Eyed Peas Experience on Xbox, dancing, arts and crafts and an open mic and poetry slam. Even better was the opportunity to get together with old friends and make new friends from other clubhouses. In addition to Delaware North, the following companies collected gifts and prizes: Red Lobster, WNY Imaging, Northstar Companies and the WNY Alarm Association. We would like to thank these generous companies, and their employees, for helping to create a memorable night of fun!
Our Mission is to provide appropriate and diversified programs and activities that serve to attract and hold area youth to the Clubhouse. We provide environments that teach children the skills needed to build positive lives, attitudes, and behaviors.
Since 1926, Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo has been in the forefront of youth development, working with young people from disadvantaged economic, social, and family circumstances. We have actively sought to enrich the lives of girls and boys whom other youth agencies failed to reach and we are dedicated to ensuring that our community's disadvantaged youngsters have greater access to quality programs and services that will enhance their lives and shape their futures.
Today, Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo serves 4,000 youth between the ages of 6-18. We are not only a place where youth can come and hang out after school, but a safe haven that allows them to develop into young adults with the necessary skills and sense of self to succeed outside of our buildings.