Good Neighbor May 2018

Boys & Girls Club of Elko

“To inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens.”  

This is the mission of Boys and Girls Club of Elko. Boys and Girls Club of Elko has been providing the children of Elko, Carlin, Wells, Owyhee, and Spring Creek a safe, productive environment to go to since 1999. According to CEO Rusty Bahr Boys and Girls Club of Elko currently has 1200 members and a staff of 24 people.  Their service area includes Elko County with a population of over 50,000 people. 

The club has drastically expanded over its almost twenty years of existence in our area.  For the first twelve years the club operated out of trailers that were located at Southside Elementary school.  It was here that the Boys and Girls Club of Elko saw so much success that they were able to secure funding to build and open a new “Club” in August of 2013.  This dramatically changed the capabilities of Boys and Girls Club of Elko.  They now had 17,200 square feet of space to use and were able to double their membership.  

The success of our local Boys and Girls Club has continued to grow and grow year after year.  They have achieved the Reader’s Choice Gold award for being the top non-profit in Elko County for Five years running.  The Club has received recognition on a national level as well.  They are ranked within the top 5% of clubs in the nation by Boys and Girls Clubs of America standards, they also received the Gold Award for impact for the third year in a row in 2017 from the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.  In addition the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Elko received the Eagle award for being a top performing board in both 2016 and 2017.

These amazing awards directly correlate to the performance of the club and their top priorities.  In order to achieve these awards the club must maintain a certain average daily attendance, growth, and graduation rate.  They maintain highly structured programs for the children ages 5-18 that they serve.  The Club’s main priorities are to help every child live a healthy lifestyle, make sure they teach their members to live with character and be civic minded, they also have a goal to have members graduate on time with a plan for the future, and to provide a safe and positive place for children.

This safe and positive environment is created through a structured program where the members rotate daily through different activities.  The Elko Club has curriculum based activities each day that include twenty minutes of “triple play” or physical activity daily, an Education center that includes twenty minutes of dedicated reading time, a life skills center that encompasses drug and alcohol programs and cooking programs, an art and game room, a Technology studio that has- 3D printers, photography studio, music recording studio, and other digital arts, as well as a STEM program with access to 150 computers.  Members get a breadth of knowledge and skills that they are able to expand their interests in and strengthen life skills.

The Boys and Girls Club of Elko is funded 100% from Community support.  50% of this funding comes from extremely generous yearly local donors, with roughly 8-10% coming from grant funds, and the other 40% being raised through one of the Club’s eleven fundraisers throughout the year.  Donations and fundraisers have led to the ability for the club to expand even further.  In Elko they will be adding a teen center onto the current facility.  This center will provide dedicated space for tweens and teens.  It will add their own exercise and work out area, as well as additional classroom space for them.  There is also an expansion that is in progress for the Boys and Girls Club in Wells.  This will add a full size gym, commercial kitchen, and create the ability to open up membership through high school as the wells Club only currently serves members through sixth grade. The Club will also be expanding into Spring Creek, and providing those members with their own facility.  It will have a full gym, play land, water/spray pad.

With all of the amazing growth and changes that the Boys and Girls Club has gone through and continues to face it is a true testament to their board and CEO for being able to have an eye to the future.  They are preparing so many of our local children to be healthy, civic minded adults.  48% of their members fall below the poverty line, but no one is turned away based on their ability to pay tuition.  The club accepts members with open arms and provides them safe space to learn and grow. We would like to take the time to give a huge thank you to Rusty Bahr and his staff, as well as the board for the amazing and dedicated work that they do!  Thank you for being a good neighbor!

Don’t miss the upcoming Fundraiser Concert benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Elko.
Click here for more information.

If you have someone that you would like to nominate as a good neighbor please email, call 775.738.3423, or message Shabonya Dutton State Farm Agent on facebook.