ASBURY PARK, NJ–May 30, 2013–On May 22nd, 2013, Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County (BGCM) celebrated 75 years serving the youth of Monmouth County at the Dauphin Grille in Asbury Park with over 100 alumni, members, and supporters in attendance, including Asbury Park Mayor Ed Johnson.

17 Club members and supporters were honored for their commitment to the Clubs at the Annual Awards Ceremony.  Honorees include: Youth of the Year Award presented to Ijataque McClain of Neptune; Community Vision Award presented to Chief Mark Kinmon and the Asbury Park Police Department; Corporate Vision Award presented to Eric Rocha and Robert Micari of Verizon; Humanitarian Award presented to Chef Tyrone Burr and Lunch Break; Service to Youth Award presented to Red Bank Unit Volunteer Nicole Farkouh of Rumson; Keystone Parent Volunteer Award presented to Tiffany Harris of Red Bank; Service to Youth Award presented to Passport to Manhood Volunteers Dionne and Shannon Crooms of Asbury Park; Service to Youth Award presented to Peola Smith-Smith and Betty White of the Central Jersey Youth Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc.; and the Thomas S. Smith Award presented to departing Board President Hana S. Wolf of Interlaken for demonstrating a continued commitment to successful futures for children at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County.

Seven $2,000 College Bound Senior Scholarships were presented to Ijataque McClain of Neptune, Ijonique McClain of Neptune, Tiara Levers of Asbury Park, Sonida Olivier of Asbury Park, Natasha Cargill of Red Bank, Zakiyyah Godsey of Red Bank, and Kierra Rudolph Jones of Red Bank.  This group of talented young women has completed BGCM’s College Bound Mentor and Scholarship Program and will be attending Georgian Court University, Rutgers University, New England College, Berkeley College, and Brookdale Community College in the fall.

BGCM’s new Board officers were also sworn in including President Beth Goodes of Little Silver, First Vice President Shawn Mulligan of Sea Girt, Second Vice President Bruce Fromer of Allenhurst, Treasurer Frank Scheuer of Rumson, and Secretary Anthony DiMeglio of Middletown.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County History

In the spring of 1938, Isaiah Matlock, chairman of the Asbury Park Kiwanis Club Boys and Girls Program Committee, recommended to the Board of Directors of the Kiwanis Club that they explore the possibility of establishing a Boys Club in Asbury Park.  In August of 1940, due to the rapid growth of the Boys Club program a decision was made to change the name of the Kiwanis Boys Club to the Boys Club of Asbury Park.  Through the efforts of Gus Villipiano and Thomas Shebell, Sr., Mr. James Rollo, President of the Asbury Park New York Transit Company, became interested in the establishment of a new Boys Club home.  Mr. Rollo purchased a lot at 1201 Monroe Ave for the new facility and contributed $35,000 toward the building cost and the new clubhouse was opened on July 29, 1952.  In September of 1954, a special gymnasium fundraising dinner was held honoring world boxing champion Rocky Marciano.  $20,000 was raised and helped complete the building of the gymnasium. 

In 1992, the Boys Club changed its name to Boys & Girls Club of Monmouth County.  In 2007, the Red Bank, New Jersey area was identified as an area of need.  In September 2009, the Red Bank Unit opened its doors and the organization became known as Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County.  As of 2013, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County is bettering the lives of 800 children and teen members and 1,200 additional youth through outreach programs.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County has served thousands of youth over the past 75 years and remain committed to providing safe places for young people in Monmouth County, where they can receive programs and services that will help them realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. Please visit www.bgcmonmouth.org for more info.