2475 Easton Turnpike
Our Mission To guide and inspire young people, especially those that need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens. Our Values At Wakeman Boys & Girls Club, we want our members to be good people who grow up to be active, engaged citizens in our community. To BE GREAT, it is important to: Be Honest Be Sensitive to the Feelings of Others Be Willing to Help Be Good Sportsmen and Sportswomen Be Trustworthy Be Patient Be Willing to Try New Things Be Respectful Boys & Girls Clubs of America Wakeman is a member of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. For more than a century, Boys & Girls Clubs of America have helped put young people on the path to great futures. Boys & Girls Clubs annually serve nearly 4 million young people, through membership and community outreach, in nearly 4,000 Club facilities throughout the country.
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Wakeman Boys & Girls Club
On Christmas Day in 1913 the best gift ever given to tens of thousands of children was "unwrappedﾔ - Wakeman Boys Club opened on Harbor Road in Southport! The opening of the Club was made possible thanks to the generosity of Frances and Cornelia Wakeman Crapo who made a charitable donation which was used to establish the Club in honor of their grandfather Jessup Wakeman. In 1954, having outgrown the original clubhouse, Wakeman moved to Center Street in Southport and the membership grew to more than 300 members. Under the direction of Edward "Redﾔ Baker who took over the reins in 1945, Wakeman became the place to play baseball, football, and of course basketball. The impact that Red had on generations of young people was legendary. Alumni still tell stories of piling into Redﾒs station wagon and driving to other Boys Clubs around the state to play games against anyone that would accept the Wakeman challenge! Boxing, photography, pool, ping pong and skittle bowl were also very popular with the members. Red and his staff including Joe Skubas and Art Donnelly fostered a "home away from homeﾔ atmosphere but tolerated no nonsense from members; to own a Wakeman membership card was a privilege not a birthright! Membership of the club continued to grow through the years. In the late 1980ﾒs with current Executive Director Dave Blagys at the helm, membership approached 1,000 boys and girls. Girls had always been allowed at Wakeman and the word "girlsﾔ was added to the Clubﾒs name in 1983. A capital campaign led to an expansion project to add the Warren Gym and some other improved program space in 1992. Membership grew steadily and in 2005, a second capital campaign added a computer center, art studio, weight room, turf field, lobby and parking lot. Membership had climbed to 3,000 boys and girls! With the improvements made to the Southport Clubhouse, the staff and Board of Directors and Trustees turned their attention to children in distant sections of Fairfield. To better serve these youngsters the Stratfield Clubhouse opened in 2003, first at Owen Fish Park before moving to the First Presbyterian Church. Almost a decade old now, the Stratfield Clubhouse provides children in grades 3-8 with homework help, computer instruction, art, fitness activities, and a Torch Club for middle school students. From the success of the Stratfield Clubhouse came an outreach collaborative at McKinley Elementary School in Fairfield beginning in 2005. This award winning program includes more than 80 teen volunteers who serve as mentors and tutors for McKinley students as well as a variety of fitness and recreation opportunities for students offered throughout the school year. In June 2011 Wakeman Boys & Girls Club took a huge step, opening the Smilow-Burroughs Clubhouse on Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport. The building was made possible thanks to the efforts of a dedicated campaign committee and generous donors who contributed $7M to make the project a reality. In the first two year of operations more than 1,000 members have been involved at the Smilow-Burroughs Clubhouse with more people every single day learning about the Clubhouse and coming in to find out what people have known for nearly 100 years ﾖ that Wakeman Boys & Girls Club helps young people grow up to BE GREAT!
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