PATERSON, NJ - Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Boys & Girls Clubs of Paterson and Passaic hosted an event Tuesday night to announce “A Team Effort,” an initiative that includes donations of more than $500,000 by corporate and community foundations.
The announcement event occurred at the 21st Avenue Boys & Girls Club in Paterson and was attended by Boys & Girls Club alumnus and New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, who gave a speech aimed at offering them inspiration, and encouraged their physical fitness with warm-up exercises.
Funds raised through “A Team Effort” will be used to support healthy lifestyles and fitness through the renovation of the aquatic facility at the club, and also to support academic success with the launch of “Cruz Control,” an after-school program designed to teach STEM/STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) to promote economic opportunity for young people.
In addition to The Victor Cruz Foundation, other funders and dignitaries in attendance included: Al Kelly, president and chief executive officer of the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee, which has committed to raise critical funds to transform afterschool facilities in the area through its Snowflake Youth Foundation initiative; Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation, a long-term supporter of Boys & Girls Clubs of America and in support of The Snowflake Foundation; Joe Marx, senior communications officer at The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; and Robert Weiss, New Jersey market president at JPMorgan Chase & Co., a supporter of the Victor Cruz Foundation’s After School Teen Program.
“Boys & Girls Clubs played a major role in my life and helped me develop some of the character traits that have aided in my success,” Cruz said. “I’m excited to give back to the organization in a community that gave so much to me as a child.”
The renovation project is scheduled to begin in January and will be completed in early 2014.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America:
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,000 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native American lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at http://www.bgca.org/facebook and http://bgca.org/twitter.
About the NY/NJ Snowflake Youth Foundation
The NY/NJ Snowflake Youth Foundation is a newly formed charity headquartered at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. Created as an initiative of the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee, the Foundation will harness the excitement of the Super Bowl XLVIII to raise critical funds to renovate and transform after-school facilities in the NY/NJ area that provide school-age boys and girls with safe and supervised recreational, educational, and character-building activities. More information can be found at www.snowflakeyouthfoundation.org