Scottsdale Charros give $80K to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale

The Scottsdale Charros have provided the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale an $80,000 grant to ensure club members can play both recreational and competitive sports. (Photo courtesy of the Scottsdale Charros)

The Scottsdale Charros have provided the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale an $80,000 grant to ensure club members can play both recreational and competitive sports. (Photo courtesy of the Scottsdale Charros)

Many say the old adage, “it takes a village to raise a child” holds more true today than any other time in American history.

But for local families in the Scottsdale area without the luxury of an extended family support system the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale make sure children have a safe and constructive environment to go after school and during extended breaks during the year.

The Scottsdale Charros this grant cycle have awarded the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale an $80,000 grant to help the club continue to offer both competitive and recreation sports for interested club members.

“This is a model youth agency that serves over 18,000 youth — many of whom need a safe place to go after school,” said Mark Letendre, a Scottsdale Charro who sponsored the Boys & Girls Club grant application. “Affording our youth opportunity to be anything they want to be and allowing them to develop into contributing members of Scottsdale is the best investment we can make in our future.”

For 54 years the Scottsdale Charros have been in constant pursuit of improving the lives of Scottsdale residents while preserving the community’s ties to its western heritage.

Jim Stratton, who is serving as interim-CEO at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale, says the Scottsdale Charros are an invaluable part of the local community.

“Over the years, there has just been any number of Charros who have served on our board in a leadership capacity,” he said of the long history between the Charros and the Boys & Girls Club. “If you go back through the ranks of the Charros you will find lots of overlap between our leadership and theirs.”

Mr. Stratton points out the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale provides the largest amount of indoor basketball courts in the city.

“We have the largest youth basketball program in the area — sports is a framework we believe in,” he said.

As public schools have been forced to reduce physical education offerings places like the Boys & Girls Club pick up the slack, Mr. Stratton points out.

“It really helps kids from the health standpoint,” he said of the importance of having physical education a part of youth development. “We do both leisure sports and more organized sports. It is one of our core program areas.”

The Scottsdale Charros oftentimes bring issues not known to the average resident to light — and that is part of the value the organization brings to the community, Mr. Stratton contends.

“I think for one thing they are truly focused on building a healthy community here,” he said. “They are a very valuable asset in the community by supporting programs and efforts that maybe others aren’t quite aware of,” he said. “They have a really strong network of people who are aware of the needs of the community. Whether it is education or nonprofits they really have a very high level of awareness.”

Mr. Letendre says being a Charro is a privilege to serve for those asked to join.

“Not as much a responsibility but an honor,” he said in response to being asked of the duties of Charro. “The group has supported Scottsdale for over 50 years to support making Scottsdale a great place to live, learn and enjoy. All members donate time, talent and treasure!”

To learn more about the programs and branches of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale, 10533 E. Lakeview Drive, go to bgcs.org or call 480-860-5520.

Northeast Valley Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at tthornton@newszap.com

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