History of Grenville Baker Boys & Girls Club
Grenville Baker Boys & Girls Club is a local affiliate of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, a national organization whose mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. BGCA serves 4.8 million boys and girls across America at over 4,000 club locations, employing 11,000 full-time and 40,000 part-time trained youth professionals, plus tens of thousands of volunteers.
Our local Club was formed in 1947 when it was incorporated as the Associated Boys Club of Locust Valley, Inc. Great efforts were made to serve area youth, but lack of an adequate meeting place was a hindrance. Mrs. George F. Baker, Jr. and her family took the first step that made everything possible by making a donation to purchase the land on Forest Avenue and build the original clubhouse. The dedication of Grenville Baker Boys Club took place on December 7th, 1950 in memory of Mrs. Baker’s son, Grenville, a decorated Air Force Captain and Harvard graduate who met an untimely death in 1949.
Once the club house was built, growth began quickly. The local communities supported the Club financially through football sponsorships and fundraising events. Membership grew at a steady rate and by 1969, 600 boys were members of the Club. Around this time, the Girls Club of Locust Valley was incorporated and in 1981 a merger between the Grenville Baker Boys Club and the Girls Club of Locust Valley took place to form the Grenville Baker Boys & Girls Club.
Through the 80s and 90s, the Club recognized the changing needs and interests of children and worked constantly to expand existing programs and begin new ones. While football was the original program offered at the Club, today we offer programs in five core areas: Education & Career Development; Sports, Fitness, & Recreation; the Arts; Character & Leadership Development; and Health & Life Skills. The Club currently serves more than 1,500 youngsters, with more than 150 kids coming to the Club daily.
We continue to be generously supported by the community through our signature events, such as the Clothing Sale, June Dance, and Annual Golf Tournament. With all the changes over the years, however, one thing has remained the same: our core promise to our kids to provide a safe and nurturing environment and to have a positive impact on their lives.