Gifts open Boys & Girls Club to 200 more children, teens

Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane, Steve Hilton and Marianne Guenther cut the ribbon officially opening additions to a Boys & Girls Club. (Submitted photo)

Members and families of the Thunderbirds Branch of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale gathered Monday, June 4, with community leaders and supporters to celebrate the opening of the new Guenther/Curran Family Gymnasium and the Hilton Family Teen Center.

Marianne and Glenn Guenther, who funded the Guenther/Curran Family Gymnasium, and Steve and Suzanne Hilton, benefactors of the Hilton Family Teen Center, cut the ribbon with Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane on hand, “marking the start of a new era for teens in the Grayhawk community with their own dedicated space at the Thunderbirds Branch,” according to a release.

“When there is no teen center, staying involved in the Boys & Girls Club can become more difficult when you get older,” said Tatum Trainor, former Thunderbirds Branch Youth of the Year and BGCS alumnus. “It is crucial to have a place where middle-schoolers and high-schoolers can be surrounded by members their same age, staff who are dedicated to them and programming focusing on their needs and interests.”

Teen club members have their own entrance to the gymnasium and teen center that includes a fitness center, games room, teen lounge, kitchen, technology center and performing arts room.

“We hope that hours of fun and physical activity happen here, that new friends are made and that great futures have a chance to start,” Marianne Guenther stated in the release. “This is more than a building and more than just a gym or a teen center. This is a place where young people can feel safe, a place for growth and a place where leaders of tomorrow are born.”

Steve and Suzanne Hilton along with two of their four children inside the Hilton Family Teen Center. (Submitted photo)

The 12,624-square-foot addition to the Thunderbirds Branch will allow the club to serve 200 more kids and teens daily. The Thunderbirds Branch has seen an increase in teen membership since opening the new teen center and gym doors last month, the release stated.

“We’ve lived in this community for 15 years and that’s why the Hilton Family Teen Center is so important to us and why I’m happy that we were able to make this happen,” stated  Steve Hilton. “Kids and their families need facilities like this available to them. This is only the start for a lot of great things to happen here.”

Curt McReynolds, BGCS chief operating officer, said the families’ donations are not only generous “but vital to answer the needs for teens in our Grayhawk community.”

“These new facilities are the result of a community coming alongside major investors as part of our million-dollar-matching campaign which also included gifts from Bob and Renee Parsons for The Bob & Renee Parsons Technology Center; David Lorsch and Cindy Lubin for the David Lorsch, Cindy Lubin & Family Teen Lounge; Stephen and Michele Schwanz for the Michele & Stephen Schwanz Fitness Center; and Mark and Amanda Bosco for the Mark & Amanda Bosco Family Games Room.”

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