Our HistoryBoys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia - History & Mission

Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia has served our city’s youth since 1887. Our Germantown, Wissahickon, and Nicetown units are three of the original Clubs that were part of the founding of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America more than 100 years ago. While much has changed since we first began, one thing remains constant: GREAT FUTURES START HERE.

1887 Germantown Club opens.

1892 Nicetown Club opens as the first club to serve girls since its inception.

1896 Wissahickon Club opens as the first club to serve an African-American community.

1906 Philadelphia Clubs join 49 other organizations to charter what has become Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

1938 Northeast Frankford Club opens.

1941 Bridesburg Club opens.

1974 Wissahickon, Frankford, Bridesburg and Nicetown join to create Boys Clubs of Metropolitan Philadelphia and expand to include after-school childcare.

1981 Germantown Club joins the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Philadelphia.

1996 West Kensington, the first new club in five decades opens to serve the Latino community.

1997 Bridesburg Club builds pre-school addition, and we establish the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Philadelphia endowment.

1998 Boys & Girls Clubs serve an unprecedented 3 million children nationwide.

1999 Clubs become the Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia and host the National Keystone Conference, bringing together youth leaders from 2,000 Boys & Girls Clubs organizations throughout the country.

2001 Boys & Girls Clubs implement 21st Century technology programs.

2002 Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia hosts largest Regional Keystone Teen conference ever, with 800 attendees and our Nicetown and West Kensington Clubs receive a major grant from the City of Philadelphia to implement teen programs in their areas.

2004 Boys & Girls Clubs receive grant from the Annenberg Foundation and expand Project Learn from two to five clubs; Mariana Bracetti Charter Academy receives its unit charter; Frankford Valley Boys & Girls Club opens in August 2004 in a charter school; and Boys & Girls Clubs of America reaches 3,400 Clubs, serving 4.4 million youth.

2005 First Lady Laura Bush visits Germantown Boys & Girls Clubs for a tour and program and we open our Feltonville Club.

2006 Boys & Girls Clubs of America Celebrates its Centennial.

2007 Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia closes Frankford Valley Unit, opens Wilson Park and Fairmount Units and renames Feltonville Unit to honor Police Office Lauretha Vaird.

2010 Germantown High School joins Boys & Girls Clubs as part of Department of Labor (DOL) program.

2011 Samuel S. Fels High School and Frankford High School join Boys & Girls Clubs as part of DOL program.

2012 Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia celebrates 125th Year Anniversary.

2012: First CEO Team, Joseph and Lisabeth Marziello, hired to transform organization.

2012 January Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia reopens Nicetown Unit to community as Shane Victorino Nicetown Boys & Girls Club after a year of closure and major renovations.

2013 April Vaird Club member Greek Coates wins PA State Youth of the Year. 1st state winner since 1988.

2013: Historical Fundraising Direction results in the New Showcase of Wine & Cheese Raising $750,000 in its inception year.

2013 Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia open 1st Literacy Center at West Kensington Unit as part of the organization’s Literacy Initiative.

2014: Literacy Center Initiative expands to Ten (10) locations throughout Philadelphia including three (3) elementary schools providing in-school class instruction

2015 Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia launch $40 million Bold Change for Kids Capital Campaign to renovate 7 Club buildings throughout the city.

2015: The Showcase of Wine & Cheese hits a record high of $1.9M in over-all revenue.