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The Boys & Girls Club of Alpena Running Strong Through Summer

Since the big grand opening of the Boys & Girls Club of Alpena, the staff, parents and children are settling in quite nicely. “You know, it’s been an incredible summer thus far. We’ve had a tremendous number of kids, parents, collaborators and partners that have stepped up to really support what’s going on here,” Boys & Girls Club of Alpena CEO Bradley Somers said. Summer food programs feed an estimated three million children every year. “The food program every single day has been just absolutely rock and roll. We have over 120 kids a day that are receiving a free meal. We are a meet up and eat up site, which means that we are one of the sites throughout the community that is designed to feed kids eighteen years and younger for free.  So, if any kids are out there that are hungry, looking for a meal, please stop in. You do not have to be a Boys and Girls Club member to do so,” Somers said.

The Boys and Girls Club of Alpena strives to provide an inclusive community for all. “You know, we are an all-inclusive organization. We are trained on understanding the needs of all kids, no matter what their backgrounds are. It’s really important for us as an organization to step up for every kid that walks through our doors. No matter if it’s someone who is in a wheelchair or if it’s individual with ADD/ADHD, dyslexia or autism. You know, they have a place here at the Boys and Girls Club of Alpena,” Somers said. The new facility is state of the art. “I mean, it’s wonderful, you know, with this new site, we have a lot more ADA compliance. We have a lot more options for kids with disabilities. We have a lot more space to be able to have small group discussions and be able to bring local partners in, you know, that help these kids understand how they fit into society, and kids are kids. You know, it doesn’t matter what their background is, it doesn’t matter what their upbringing is. When they come into a place like a Boys and Girls Club, they feel welcome. And that’s when we have a kid having an A-HA moment understanding,” Somers responds emotionally.  That compassion and drive is what is making a difference in the lives of children all over Alpena.