Although each Boys & Girls Club has its own qualities that make it special, we’re unified by our commitment to these four tenets:
Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County was incorporated on April 3, 1969 as the Boys Clubs of Palm Beach County, Inc. Its first Board of Directors was formed on October 22, 1969.
- Through the combined efforts of the Board, under the leadership of President, Sheriff William R. Heidtman and National Board Members Horace C. Flanigan and Semon E. Knudsen, $15,000 was raised to cover the operating expenses for the first year. On October 1, 1970 the Board signed a one-year lease for $1.00 with the West Palm Beach Knights of Columbus for their Olympic size pool and bath house located at 1188 Marine Drive.
- On March 28, 1971, Club doors were opened. Two weeks later on April 13, the Boys Clubs of Palm Beach County was received into full membership with Boys Clubs of America.
- On September 12, 1972 the Boys Club purchased the Knights of Columbus building on Marine Drive for $45,000.
- In 1985, through the efforts of Corepoint Corporation – owned by the Vadia family – and the cooperation of the County Commissioners and Acme Improvement District, a 17-acre parcel of land in Wellington was deeded over to Acme, who in turn leased the land to the Boys Club for $1.00 per year.
- On April 18, 1987, with a 3,000 square foot building, two baseball fields, two basketball courts and generous parking areas, the Wellington Club opened. The building was dedicated to Alberto Vadia Sr. and his family, whose generous support made this facility possible.
- On April 18, 1989, the two clubs opened their doors to girls and the organization officially changed its name to Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County, Inc.
- The organization’s annual budget was about $450,000 and about 650 children attended the two Clubs annually. In an effort to reach and serve more children, the Board of Directors outlined a 5-year-plan in early 1990 for expansion and targeted the county’s areas of greatest need to open Club operations.
- 1991, a Riviera Beach location opened in an old fire station.
- 1993, the Delray Beach Club opened at Carver Middle School.
- 1995, through an agreement with the Palm Beach County School District, four elementary school-based sites in the Glades Area became available.
- 1997, the organization kept expanding in the Glades Area with an additional site at Belle Glade’s Lake Shore Civic Center during the summer, which is now the stand-alone Teen Center. During the school year, two more school-based sites became available at Canal Point and Gove Elementary Schools.
- 2001, the organization opened its 12th site, the Florence De George Boys & Girls Club in West Palm Beach’s Northwood area.
- 2004, the newest addition to the organization during this period of rapid growth opened in Boca Raton.
- 2005, the Delray Beach Club moves into a new 21,000 square feet facility named the Naoma Donnelley Haggin Club.
- 2010, the Riviera Beach Clubhouse moved into a new state of the art building named Max M. Fisher Boys & Girls Club.
- 2011, the Marjorie S. Fisher Boys & Girls Club of West Palm Beach opened in the Westgate area.
- 2013, the Wellington Club moved to a new building named Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club.
- 2018, the organization broke ground on a new state-of-the-art Teen Center named Smith & Moore
Smith & Moore Family Teen Center of Belle Glade opened a state-of-the-art career readiness center for teens in 2020.
During the 2020-21 school year, Great Futures, a Division of Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County opened in three high schools: Forest Hill Community High School, Lake Worth Community High School and John I. Leonard High School. In the 2021-22 school year, Great Futures at Santaluces High School opened.
Today, Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County serves more than 13,000 youth at 20 sites throughout the county. It has an annual operating budget of nearly $20 million.