Local History

The Boys Clubs of Greater Columbia was organized on November 30, 1959, in an older two-story frame building located at 2320 Park Street by a group of concerned Columbians who provided resources and leadership to establish what later became the first official Boys Club site in Columbia.

In 1964, the mortgage on the clubhouse was paid through a generous gift from the Ben Arnold Memorial Foundation. In 1967, the Cayce/West Columbia Sertoma Club founded the Westside Boys Club. The facility was the old City Hall building at 1900 State Street, which was leased from the City of Cayce. It was at the request of the United Way that the two organizationís merge into what became known as the Boys Clubs of Greater Columbia established January 1, 1969.

It was not until September of 1990 that the Corporate Board elected to change the name of the organization to the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Midlands, Inc. This change would more accurately define our membership base and the geographic area served as well as to reflect the name change of the national organization to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Midlands has experienced incredible growth and success in its half century of existence and celebrated itís 50th anniversary in 2009.  Today, The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Midlands operates 42 Clubs, 8 summer camps and a teen center serving youth and families from Allendale, Barwell, Fairfield, Lexington, Newberry and Richland Counties.

National History

The Boys and Girls Club Movement began in the United States during the Civil War when several women in Hartford, Connecticut believing that boys who roamed the streets should have a positive alternative, organized the first Club in 1860. A cause was born.

By 1906, several Boys Clubs decided to affiliate.  The Federated Boys Clubs in Boston was formed with 53 member organizations, marking the start of a nationwide movement. In 1931, The Boys Club Federation became Boys Clubs of America.

In 1956, Boys Clubs of America celebrated its 50th anniversary and received a U.S. Congressional Charter Ė a rare honor bestowed on only a few non-profit organizations in our countryís history.

To recognize the fact that girls have long been a part of our cause, the national organization's name was officially changed to Boys & Girls Clubs of America in 1990.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America marked its centennial year in 2006, celebrating 100 years of providing hope and opportunity to young people across the country. Today there are over there are club locations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands as well as U.S. military bases around the  world with more that 4,300 Clubs serving over 4.5 million members.

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