Local Boys and Girls Club celebrates 60 years
By WVUA 23 News Reporter Ellie Byrd
The Boys and Girls Clubs of West Alabama has been serving local children for 60 years, and the organization is ready to celebrate that milestone Friday.
It began in 1961 in downtown Tuscaloosa, then known as the Boys Club of West Alabama. In the ’90s, the organization expanded and began serving girls and boys.
Now located in Alberta, the organization serves hundreds of children between 6 and 16 every day and partners with other nonprofits and Tuscaloosa City Schools so children have opportunities for learning, fun and more.
BGCWA President and CEO Kim Turner said their biggest goal is ensuring children have equal opportunities. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization ensured students still had someplace to go for learning and lunch.
“How could we have an after-school program when there is no school to go to?” Turner said. “We were still there for our students, providing tutoring, lunches or even just a phone call to see how they were doing.”
While the organization has full-time workers, they couldn’t operate without their army of volunteers, Turner said, including University of Alabama students who can use their skills to teach athletics, theater, dancing and more.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of West Alabama is hosting a celebration Nov. 19 in honor of their 60th year in operation. Food, drinks and games will be available at the club, 2201 Alberta Parkway, from 4 to 7 p.m.