Boys & Girls Clubs of America had its beginnings in 1860 with several women in Hartford, Conn. Believing that boys who roamed the streets should have a positive alternative, they organized the first Club. A cause was born.
In 1906, several Boys Clubs decided to affiliate. The Federated Boys Clubs in Boston was formed with 53 member organizations.
In 1931, the Boys Club Federation of America became Boys Clubs of America.
In 1956, Boys Clubs of America celebrated its 50th anniversary and received a U.S. Congressional Charter.
To recognize the fact that girls are a part of our cause, the national organization's name was changed to Boys & Girls Clubs of America in 1990. Accordingly, Congress amended and renewed our charter.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Rochester is a local autonomous, not-for-profit organization with ties to a national affiliate. Although other cities have had Boys Clubs for more than a hundred years, Rochester was without a club of its own until the 1970s.
In the summer of 1971, two prominent Rochesterians who were members of the national organization’s board of directors–Paul Miller, then president and CEO of the Gannett Company, and Howard Carver, then CEO of Gleason Works–assembled a small group of area leaders to form a club for Rochester youth. Early supporters included F. Ritter Shumway, Lester Frankenstein, Alan Boucher, Calvin Mayne and Gilbert McCurdy.
The Club’s first headquarters building was located on the old Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) city campus in the Third Ward. By October of 1980, the headquarters had moved to its current location at 500 Genesee Street to better serve its primary client base–the youth of Rochester and the surrounding areas.
Through the years, the programs and services have grown in both number and quality. Today, Boys & Girls Clubs of Rochester offers a multitude of nationally recognized programs that have proven themselves effective– programs that address today’s most pressing youth issues, teaching young people the skills they need to succeed in life.