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1980-1986 Executive Director Danny Sherlock receives a much-needed donation (courtesy photo)

62-Year Chronicle of Boys & Girls Clubs of Carlsbad Unveiled

Instant Collectible Features First-Hand Accounts and Historical Photos

Carlsbad CA— The Boys & Girls Clubs of Carlsbad is delighted to announce the publication of a beautiful, coffee-table-style, hardbound book detailing the rich history of the organization from its inception in 1952 through today.

Greg Nelson with Chronicle (courtesy photo)

Greg Nelson with Chronicle
(courtesy photo)

Expected to be an instant collectible, Over 75,000 Served … A Chronicle of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Carlsbad will be available beginning December 19, 2014. The donation price is $55 per copy; 10 copies for $500. Proceeds fund ongoing operations at the Carlsbad organization that has served thousands of children ages 6-18 and the entire community for 62 years.

The book can be purchased at the Village Branch Clubhouse, 3115 Roosevelt Street, or Bressi Ranch Clubhouse, 2730 Bressi Ranch Way. Books also can be purchased securely on-line at www.bgccarlsbad.org.

The Chronicle was created by Lifetime Honorary Board Member Gregory R. Nelson, Sr. Production and printing costs were covered by Nelson and Executive Committee Board Member Chuck Smith.

Nelson states, “As someone who benefited from the Club initially as a young member, then served as an employee in several capacities, including Executive Director, later serving as Board President and a major ongoing benefactor, I have been intimately familiar with this safe haven for kids for decades. Because I strongly believe in this quintessentially Carlsbad organization, I wanted to make sure that its history, much of which is intertwined with the history of Carlsbad, would not be lost.”

1973 Board President Tony Mata, Sr. shops for supplies with a young Club member (courtesy photo)

1973 Board President Tony Mata, Sr. shops for supplies with a young Club member
(courtesy photo)

Nelson explains that many documents were collected and stored over the years, but disappeared during multiple renovations and mishaps. He notes, “To create the Chronicle, we relied primarily on the recollections of nearly 50 people who impacted and were impacted by the Club, including past Board Presidents, Executive Directors, members and others. We think that what we ‘lost’ in documentation we ‘gained’ in first-hand accounts and old photos that bring the history to life.”

Throughout the Chronicle, anecdotes abound regarding a facility that began as a termite-infested, shuttered church in the Carlsbad Barrio. Inaugural Board Member Robert Watson recounts, “Everyone in town had community spirit … to donate time, materials and labor” to transform the building into a suitable though humble facility, then later to expand and renovate it further.

Member #1 John Penrod recalls how the first Executive Director, Al Blacic, “instituted a lot of discipline and most of us needed that because our home lives weren’t all that organized.” Several other past members echo that sentiment.

Longtime Carlsbad residents will recognize many names sprinkled throughout the book, beginning with Carlsbad Mayor Manuel Castorena and Police Chief Max Palkowski in the fifties to Tony Mata Sr, longtime Village barber John Allan McKaig, and many others who were actively involved with bettering young Club members’ lives.

Board Presidents from 1950s-Present with young Club members (courtesy photo)

Board Presidents from 1950s-Present with young Club members
(courtesy photo)

Current CEO Brad Holland believes, “People who read the book will feel a sense of pride in their city and in an organization that has been supported so strongly by business and community leaders, some of whom were Club kids in their youth. Over and over again, interviewees say they were happy to contribute because the focus never wavered from mentoring children; on providing guidance through recreation.”

Holland and Nelson say, “Although much has changed over the past 62 years, and we now have not one but two welcoming facilities and dozens of enriching programs and activities, the focus remains the same. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Carlsbad organization was always all about the kids. It still is.”

Most importantly, they say, “Today, as in 1952, no child is ever turned away due to inability to pay.”

Boys & Girls Clubs of Carlsbad invites you to tour their Clubhouses, and see how lives are changed on a daily basis. The organization is 100% funded by local donors. For more information, call (760) 729-0207, email info@bgccarlsbad.org, or visit www.bgccarlsbad.org.

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