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Englewood Daily Voice serves Alpine, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs & Tenafly
Englewood Daily Voice serves Alpine, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs & Tenafly

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Why Garfield Boys & Girls Club works in Englewood

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

A BOARD PRESIDENT WRITES: The more than 2,500 school-aged youth in Englewood’s public schools all need a place to go during the crucial times of 3 to 6 p.m., and the James T. Wright ice arena could be that place.

We have a plan to convert the arena in Mackay Park into basketball courts in the summer and a venue for concerts, banquets and other events.

Every community has unique traits that define it and make it different from one another — just like people. In today’s world every community, for multiple reasons needs to extend their arms and ask for help. Today’s leaders have an obligation to offer opportunities that do not place limits on our youth to grow and develop into tomorrow’s leaders.

The role the economy has played in local government has led to cuts in services across the board. A community that is flourishing is collaborating and partnering with organizations that are willing to lend their experience and

expertise to one another. This is how we all improve not only as a community but as people.

As president of the Boys & Girls Club of Garfield’s Board of Trustees, I see all of the hard work, success – and, most importantly, the improvement — that has come to the Garfield community the past four years. Our community now has one of the strongest After 3 programs in the state, one that has been recognized by the New Jersey Department of Education.

Our club was also honored by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America as a 2012 Gold Gateway to Impact Award Winner — meaning we’ve continued to increase our average daily attendance, more than any other Club of its kind in the country.

We have enhanced programming and partnered with the YMCA and Garfield

Recreation to provide multiple outlets for our youth.

Our organization has the capacity to do great things in your community. All I ask is that you take a step back for a second and consider the big picture – and that is: to provide opportunities for youth, not to limit them or deny them.

Given the opportunity ourselves, I know that Boys and Girls Club of Garfield will help your children shine.

That’s a vision we can all share.

Lou Ann Visotcky (above) is president of the Board of Trustees of the Boys and Girls Club of Garfield, which in August obtained a 10-year city contract to run programs at Wright Arena in Englewood, which has been closed the past 10 months. Residents have questioned the cost, as well as the wisdom of having an out-of-town organization in charge. However, Mayor Frank Huttle has said the club could make the arena a year-round recreational magnet for children throughout Englewood.

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