One generous individual’s matching gift along with community support can help carry the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley across the finish line to provide even more youth with great futures. A $250,000 matching gift is being provided by a longtime community supporter and philanthropist, Mary Beth Nienhaus.
This match will help fund the remainder of the Great Futures Campaign, the organization’s multi-faceted push to meet the developmental needs of a growing population of young people, especially those most in need of the organization’s varied youth and family support.
Since the pandemic began, the organization has been adapting to the ever-changing needs of the community’s youth and families. The Clubs opened their doors to support youth of essential workers, providing more than 85,000 meals at its locations, and through drive-through meal assistance. In addition, the club is providing virtual counseling and grief support, and student support programs to help keep youth on track.
The campaign has an overall goal of $9.875 million and to date it has received just over $9 million in commitments. The clubs will finish funding this campaign once it receives $500,000 from the combined donations of Nienhaus and the community.
By 2023, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley hopes to grow the number of young people it serves on average each school day from 1,300 to 1,700.
“The Boys and Girls Club of the Fox Valley has always been near and dear to my heart,” Nienhaus says. “As a former educator, I have seen firsthand how the organization shapes young lives for the better. That is why I am so excited to provide this match as an opportunity to engage the community and have their donation go further. All donations will enable the Boys and Girls Club to continue to make a lasting impact on even more youth throughout the Fox Valley.”
“There was a growing need to serve more youth in our community,” said Melissa Wurzer, marketing and communications coordinator for the Boys and Girls Clubs. “I think there’s a lot of programs and services we already provide that have been proven to be effective. And we just wanted to improve and grow those.”
The recent expansion at the Boys & Girls Club of Menasha is one of many facilities and program improvements of the campaign. Other objectives include new safety and security systems at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Appleton and Menasha and the opening of two new school-based Boys & Girls Clubs in Appleton and Little Chute. The campaign also supports additional STEM education, a career readiness lab, an expansion of the organization’s varied, no-cost mental and behavioral health services, an additional bus line of service, and improved outdoor recreational areas.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley has grown to serve an average of 15,000 area youth each year at nine locations. This includes youth development programming, a diverse array of non-cost mental and behavioral health services such as the Center for Grieving Children, Home Base, Youth & Family Counseling, STAR initiative, TRAC, and more.
Anyone interested in learning more or contributing a matching donation can do so at the Great Futures Campaign website.