Club funding pays off for youth, community

To the editor:

On behalf of the Boys and Girls Club of the Berkshires, I want to thank the community for making the 15th annual Children First golf tournament another great success. This fun-filled event, held on August 29, honored the late Gerard Miller, a well-loved community leader and lifelong club supporter.

Thanks to your generous donations, we can continue to provide programming that assures teens and youth a great future as adults. The Great Futures movement seeks to assure academic success through programs in the area of STEM/STEAM and homework help, the development of healthy lifestyles through programs such as our new initiative, Triple Play, and the development of leadership and good character through our Smart Girls, Torch Club and Keystone programs.

A recent study by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research and School of Public Health has shown that for every dollar invested in a Boys and Girls Club in Massachusetts, the community gets a return on investment of $7.68 in economic benefit to the community and individuals. The savings are the result of improved grades leading to increased earning capacity as well as reduced levels of alcoholism and incarceration.

Thanks again for your donations and support. It means the world to the board, staff, and, above all, our youth members!

Cynthia A. Spinola, Pittsfield The writer is president of the board of directors, Boys and Girls Club of the Berkshires.