This is a historic year—2023 commemorates the 60th anniversary of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa! On September 9th, 1963, five community leaders came together to establish the Boys Club of Des Moines. Our founders, Bernie Baker, Jr.; A.H. Blank; Ellis I. Levitt; E.T. Meredith, Jr.; and Miles Mills, Sr., realized that disadvantaged youth did not have adequate opportunities to grow and reach their full potential. Now, 60 years later, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa is one of the largest youth serving organizations in our community, and we remain focused on serving the young people who truly need us most.
We celebrate this milestone during a time when the demand for our services only continues to increase. Our kids and teens here in the Des Moines metro are facing very real challenges: significant academic backslide, mental health crises, and food insecurity. It has never been more important to ensure that the doors of our eight Club sites remain open for another 60 years; to uphold our promise of a safe, supportive place for all young people who walk through our doors.
This will be a year of challenging work to fulfill our mission, but it will also be a year of celebration. A year of remembering and recognizing the founders, leaders, and supporters who have made this organization what it is today. A year of celebrating the accomplishments of our Club youth and our impact in the community over these 60 years. A year of looking to the past and to the future. We look forward to celebrating with you.
- Tony Timm, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa CEO