On February 4th, 2012 twenty young people and volunteers from the Salesian Boys & Girls Club went on a bike ride to the mountains of Whittier. The day was filled with excitement, food, and a few crashes. The Novices and Br. Tom organized the event, shuttling the young people up over 1000 vertical feet. Then it was off to lunch near the water tower followed by a swift descent down the mountain. We then proceeded to pack up and head back to the Club.
The Club strives to continually upgrade and improve not only the educational and recreational services for our kids, but the facilities. This year started off with the Wabash site’s Game Room.
The first of many projects is to replace and upgrade existing equipment. First on the list was a donated classic pool table, built in 1909, which was refinished with new veldt and pockets. This donation inspired the Salesian Old Boys to step up and re-veldt and repair a billiards and a second pool table.
The second major donation came from the Los Angeles Lions Club; two smart TV’s and XBox 360s. These will enable the Club to provide interactive exercise, dance, and educational games to the kids. The Xbox’s Kinect camera allows the kids to physically participate in the games by following the dance moves or exercises on the TVs.
The third donation of six new computers came from the Watts/Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club. These new computers have enabled the Club to upgrade its administrative functions.
The Club’s goal is to ensure that the kids get the best from the Club. This includes not only education, music, art, humane education, sports, or table games, but the facility and equipment. A safe and healthy environment with the best equipment allows the kids to feel pride of ownership of their Club.
Local Catholic middle school teams faced off in the Club’s annual Christmas Challenge basketball tournament earlier this month. The tournament is a major program for the Club and raises funds for the members of our Keystone leadership group.
Keystone consists of high school kids who participate in the Club’s programs by taking an active role in assisting the staff and younger kids. The group also provides the Club with volunteers for summer camp. Proceeds from the tournament go to fund college campus tours and trips to their annual conference.
The Tournament provides the local Catholic schools the opportunity to play in a well-organized basketball competition that accommodates both boys and girls. It is the only middle school tournament with a program for girls.
The tournament enabled over 300 kids to join in the fun, and will help provide traveling expenses for 30+ teens.
The Club strives to provide opportunities for the community, encouraging positive competitive sports, raising funds for high school kids to explore education, and bringing parents together in a positive environment.
Special thanks to Fr. Jesse at St Mary’s for allowing parents to park in the Church’s lot and Mr. Sam Robles for use of the Salesian High School gym.