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Boys & Girls Clubs of Warwick Fund
By Jean Cohoon / August 18, 2017 /   Loading Disqus...

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Warwick is the oldest and largest youth-dedicated nonprofit in Rhode Island’s second largest city, delivering engaging, enriching activities ranging from sports to STEAM skills-building to arts and crafts and cooking, all of which build important proficiencies while keeping kids safe from risky behaviors.

Yet when Executive Director Lara D’Antuono is asked what the organization does, she replies, “A Boys & Girls Club changes lives.”

Lara elaborates, “A Boys & Girls Club is a place where kids go that people ask, ‘What did you do today? Did you have a good day?’ We take the time to care and to help instill the right values in a child.”

She recalls going into a local restaurant with her family and having a young woman run toward her, fling her arms around her, and say, “You saved my life.” The woman, a former “Club kid”, had found “a safe haven that fostered self-confidence (where) staff made sure I got involved and had fun.”

With locations in Norwood and Oakland Beach, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Warwick provides licensed daycare, before and after school care, and summer and school vacation camps to its more than 1,400 members. 

A new, third branch, within walking distance of one of the state’s largest middle schools, serves young teens only and is unique in that the majority of programs focus on the arts. “By offering everything from creating their own music video to designing costumes for plays they produce or developing their own computer games, we will build confidence and academic skills, promote creativity, and help these youth make good life choices while finding their passions,” Lara explains.

As the nonprofit grows, Lara shares that she and the Clubs’ board of directors are mindful of the organization’s need for increased revenue sources. “We’ve always had a fiscally responsible and sound board. They want to protect and grow our funds. By partnering with the Rhode Island Foundation, we’re confident we will increase our capacity to help more kids who need us, while helping socially conscious individuals create meaningful, lasting legacies.” 

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