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Community Support Of OBGC Featured Nationally

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB OF AMERICA

Jeff Lago of Cam's Pizza with OBGC members and staff (before COVID-19 pandemic)

Boys and Girls Club alumni give back and support their hometown Clubs long after they leave the Clubhouse. With the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no surprise that Club alumni throughout the country are stepping up to provide resources for Clubs and kids in need.  Each year, Ogdensburg Boys & Girls Club in Ogdensburg New York holds an Expo to raise funds for the Club. In its 44th year, the Expo was set to take place in March however, due to safety concerns from COVID-19, the Club was forced to cancel the event. Once word got out that the Expo was cancelled, former Club kids and community supporters came together in amazing ways.  The Club’s young alumni leveraged social media to rally fellow alumni and other members of the community. Their efforts encouraged 21 young alumni to donate to the Club for the first time, while 31 other former members and their relatives also gave. In just two weeks, Club alumni and community supporters were able to raise 83 percent of what the Club typically raises from the Expo, and donations are still coming in. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Club also began working with the Ogdensburg City School District to deliver 125 lunches daily to families in need. Additionally, local restaurants are contributing in a big way, providing breakfast and dinner to Club members and their families.  One local pizzeria providing assistance is co-owned by Club alum Jeff Lago and his wife. The Ogdensburg Boys & Girls Club provided a safe place for Jeff to go after school for seven years. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jeff supported the Club through cause marketing campaigns where he donates a portion of his pizza sales to the Club. He also provided workforce development opportunities for current Club members including giving cooking lessons and providing facility tours. Jeff’s pizzeria continues to support the Club through cause marketing campaigns and food donations during the pandemic.  “I always told myself when I was younger that if I could help the Club in any way, I would,” said Jeff.” Since opening my own restaurant, it has allowed me to give back. I want to make sure that current and future members have the same positive Club experience that I had.”  Jeff and other alumni in the Ogdensburg community are joined by Club alumni and supporters nationwide doing whatever it takes to make an impact in local communities – a true testament to the Club alumni persona. To learn more about supporting local Clubs during the Coronavirus pandemic, visit bgca.org/covid19.  

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