In the Town of Eden, two special people saw a need for our children with a special goal and vision in mind. These two people, our founding fathers, Karen Smith and Glenn R. Nellis, took it upon themselves to survey the Southtowns. They discovered what they felt all along, that other people saw the need as well and shared in the same vision. Upon researching to fulfill this need, Karen and Glenn discovered the Boys and Girls Club of East Aurora. Soon the dream (or as Karen may refer to it as the “Dare to Dream”) vision became a reality for the community of Eden. The reality and dreams spread like wildfire through the Southtowns, with the reality of the Club becoming a vivid and real organization for youth from not only all walks of life, but from many places in the Southtowns. We are truly grateful and blessed for their vision, dedication, and hard work in making their dreams and reality become our dreams and reality. Thank you, Karen and Glenn!
Our building at the Boys & Girls Club in Eden was formally known as The Meeting Place Restaurant (see picture below on left). Built in 1947 by Kenneth Yager, it was used for pasteurizing and homogenizing milk produced by Mr. Yager’s herd of cows. The front of the building later became an ice cream parlor and a restaurant. Kenneth Yager had a partner named Kenneth Face. In 1975, the restaurant was managed by Helen Chipman.
Kenneth Yager, born in 1915, passed away in 1985. The property was sold by Kenneth Face to Paul Dippert in 1982. In 1987, the property was sold to James and Linda Sickau, who then sold the property to the Eden Community Center, Inc.* The Boys and Girls Club of Eden officially opened its doors in the fall of 2002 after a complete refurbishing was done of the inside and outside of the building. The picture to the right is a snapshot of what the building looks like today.
*Special thanks to Dorothea Meyers, Eden Town Historian for her research and information she has provided regarding the history of the building of what is now known as the Boys & Girls Club of Eden, Inc.
History of the First Boys & Girls Club of America
Boys & Girls Clubs of America had its beginnings in 1860 with several women in Hartford, Conn. Believing that boys who roamed the streets should have a positive alternative, they organized the first Club. A cause was born.
In 1906, several Boys Clubs decided to affiliate. The Federated Boys Clubs in Boston was formed with 53 member organizations.
In 1931, the Boys Club Federation of America became Boys Clubs of America.
In 1956, Boys Clubs of America celebrated its 50th anniversary and received a U.S. Congressional Charter.
To recognize the fact that girls are a part of our cause, the national organization’s name was changed to Boys & Girls Clubs of America in 1990. Accordingly, Congress amended and renewed our charter.