Boys & Girls Club Blog

Thank You, A Review of 2022 from CEO Tracy Ogden

December 22, 2022
After the hardships that were felt by the pandemic over the last couple of years, we are thankful to have many positive things to celebrate in 2022. We’ve been working hard to do whatever it takes to serve our mission to improve the lives of children and families and I’d like to share with you some of the highlights of this year, including breaking ground on our building expansion!
The need to serve more kids has grown, and it keeps growing! We’ve been serving more and more kids at each of our locations. At our downtown location, our daily attendance is up so significantly we are turning kids away.
We’ve doubled the number of kids we are serving each day at both our after-school care/summer site at Omro Elementary School and our after-school program at South Park Middle School. Both of these new locations were opened last year.
We are in our third year of being able to serve more youth by having an additional summer site at Peace Lutheran, along with our Downtown Oshkosh Club and the new Omro site.
Our Be Great Graduate staff at Oshkosh West and North High School are now in school all day. Because of this, we are now up to serving over 60 teens with a 100% graduation rate!
With the addition of our Big Futures Mentoring Program at the Club, a partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters, we’ve increased the number of youth receiving additional mentoring support including homework help and exploring career interests. And we’re still growing and looking for additional adult mentors.
We also added more transportation. We currently transport youth to the Club each day from eight elementary and middle schools and one high school. Having additional vehicles has allowed us to triple the number of kids we bring to the Club each day.
We hired a full-time Behavior Intervention Specialist who, along with our Director of Social & Emotional Wellness, works with youth who are having a more difficult time handling their emotions. They provide them with tools and outlets to help them work through what they are feeling. In addition, they work with each of our staff to help them navigate those behaviors with their youth.
For the second year, we’ve been able to offer a third Drivers Education class, allowing us to send 45 teens through the program.
Our Basic Needs Program did wonderful things for both kids and families this year. 300 showers and 450 loads of laundry were done at the Club. We gave out over 400 basic needs items, over 200 Club scholarships, and adopted out 220 children through our Adopt a Family Christmas program, not to mention provided breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner, field trips, academic support, mental health support, and kept Club members active outside and in our gym space. If it sounds like a lot, it was, and we are very grateful and proud to be able to do so many things for our community!
We’ve always enjoyed and understood the importance of collaborating with other organizations in the community and again this year we were able to offer our kids some really fun and unique opportunities. We had nurses from UW Oshkosh talk to our kids about the importance of sleep. Anytime Fitness came in and did a Mascot Camp. Ideal DOG LLC brought in therapy dogs. Detective Vang of the Oshkosh Police Department has been doing a program with members that focuses on anti-bullying. Quest members took part in the Oshkosh Public Library’s summer reading program. Our local Girl Scouts came in with unique activities for our girls to participate in while teaching them valuable life skills, and there are many more.
One of the most exciting parts of this year was breaking ground on our building project and new community center. If you’ve been to our Club in the last couple of months you know that construction is well underway! This expansion is going to allow us to serve more than 150 additional youth daily. We are working hard to close the fundraising gap for this project.
As most of you know, the project includes an expansion of our Radford Center for elementary-age children, more space for middle school children, a new Teen Center, a new playground and all-purpose field, a Community Center, and a second gym. Our new community center is going to provide so much more for families, not just Club families, but our entire community of families can benefit from the services that will be housed onsite! We are excited to have organizations like the Children’s Hospital, Goodwill/FISC, Rawhide, Fox Valley Technical College, and more already committed.
We feel extra grateful for what we have been able to accomplish together this year. Thank you to our Oshkosh community, friends of the Club, and our staff for helping us serve our mission to improve the lives of children and families every single day! We are looking forward to 2023 and the additional celebrations it will bring.
We welcome you to come to take a tour and see first-hand all the wonderful things happening at our Club. Have a Happy New Year and we look forward to seeing you in 2023.
Tracy Ogden, CEO