In 2002, Assemblyman John Burzichelli organized a group of 50 local businesses, concerned citizens, and Clergy to open the Boys & Girls Club of Paulsboro. The town donated the Old Italian American Club at 916 Penn Line Road. Senator Steve Sweeney organized a group of volunteers led by then Governor Jon Corzine and his staff to renovate the facility. Local businesses, most notably Paulsboro Refinery, led by Karen Hill, helped organize this grass roots effort and ready the facility for the young people it would soon serve. Both Karen Hill and Jim Daloisio were original board members of the Paulsboro Club and they continue to actively serve on our board today. Sam DeSimone, a prominent area lawyer and District Judge, chaired the first Board of Directors to govern the new organization.
In that same year, a similar call was made by Alvin Shpeen, then Mayor of Glassboro and County Prosecutor. Unfortunately, Alvin died suddenly before he could see the Boys & Girls Club of Glassboro open in 2003. Dan Dalton, a lifelong resident of Glassboro, former Secretary of State and local insurance company owner, put together a group to start the Glassboro Club in Alvin’s honor. From 2002 – 2005 Dan chaired the Board of Directors and remains an active member of our board today. Joe Brigandi, also a lifelong resident of Glassboro, County Freeholder, City Councilman and Glassboro Business Administrator, served a Vice Chair from 2002-2005. The Club was first housed in some trailers behind the Glassboro Middle School and within a year a new location was established in a section of the County Library at 2 Center St. Glassboro, NJ. Other founding members of the Glassboro Club included Bob Zazzali, Pattie Owens and Theresa DiVietro. Bob and Pattie are still board members to this day while Theresa famously orchestrated the biggest fundraisers in the early history of the organization with the “Happening on High” fundraising events.
The Merger- Boys & Girls Clubs of Gloucester County
In 2005, these two organizations- one in Paulsboro and the other in Glassboro- merged to form the Boys & Girls Clubs of Gloucester County (BGCGC) with the administrative building located in Glassboro and Club locations remaining in Glassboro and Paulsboro.
Our Board Chairs through the Years
Dan Dalton (2005-2007)
Dan Dalton, who had been serving as board chairman for the Glassboro Club since he spearheaded its founding in 2002 (see above), continued his Board leadership by serving as our first Board President. He continues on the board today and has been a driving force in our continued success.
Jim Daloisio (2007-2009)
Jim is a Paulsboro businessman who owns Railroad Construction Company of Southern New Jersey and who helped found the Paulsboro Club. Jim also served as a Board Member and Officer for the Boys & Girls Clubs of New Jersey. He continues to serve on our board and makes an impact.
Nick Mitcho (2009 -2011)
Nick was Superintendent of Glassboro Schools. A founding member of BGCGC, Nick was instrumental in starting and developing the BGCGC “Swing for Kids” golf fundraiser. During his tenure the Glassboro Club moved to its current location at the old Elsmere School at 801 Ellis St. In 2013, the town officially deeded the facility and property to BGCGC. Nick continues to be a valued member of our board.
Gary Davis (2012-2014)
Gary was recruited to the BGCGC Board by Nick Mitcho in 2008. As Board President, Gary lead the organization to develop and grow into the largest youth agency in the County. Under Gary’s leadership BGCGC opened a new location in September of 2013 with a new Woodbury Teen Center.
Theresa DiVietro (2015-2016)
Theresa was also a founding Member of the BGC of Glassboro Board of Directors who rejoined the Board to take the leadership role. In June 2015, she resurrected her creation, the “Happening on High” fundraising event.
Christopher Tully (2016-2018) became the sixth Board President of BGCGC who oversaw critical changes in the organization, including the hiring of a new CEO. Chris remained on the board until recently as the Chair of the Board Governance Committee.
Christopher Tully (2016-2018)
Christopher became the sixth Board President of BGCGC who oversaw critical changes in the organization, including the hiring of a new CEO. Chris remained on the board through 2020 as the Chair of the Board Governance Committee
Katie McGee (2019- Present)
Katie has brought new energy to the organization overseeing such achievements as the refurbishing of both the Glassboro an Paulsboro Clubs, with much help from County Freeholder Heather Simmons and construction expert Jay Cipriani (who is also a member of the board). During Katie’s tenure, working closely with CEO Patti Withington, our Club has had the distinct honor of selecting a Youth of the Year who went on to win the state title and then the title for the entire Northeast Region of the country. Eventually she finished as a finalist in the national Youth of the Year competition!
Nzingha R—2019 Youth of the Year---
A product of the Woodbury Teen Center and later Paulsboro’s Boys & Girls Club, Nzingha R. is one of the finest examples of the impact the BGCGC can make on a young person. The Youth of the Year title is a prestigious honor bestowed upon an exemplary young person in recognition of leadership, service, academic excellence and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle. The Youth of the Year program honors our nation’s most awe-inspiring young people on their path to great futures and encourages all kids to lead, succeed and inspire. As the New Jersey Youth of the Year, Nzingha served as an ambassador for all teens in the state. She received a $15,000 college scholarship -$10,000 from Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey, and $5,000 from Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and went on to win the Northeast Regional Youth of the Year, ultimately competing against 5 others for the national title where she finished as a finalist. At the Club, where Nzingha has been a member for seven years, she participated in all of our leadership programs. As part of the Healthy Habits program, she developed “Nzingha’s Cooking Show” to promote healthy eating habits amongst her fellow Club members. Nzingha’s career aspirations are to become an attorney and eventually a Supreme Court Justice. “We are incredibly proud of Nzingha and all of the Youth of the Year nominees,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “Being named Youth of the Year is a lifelong honor. As the New Jersey Youth of the Year, Nzingha will serve as a spokesperson for Boys & Girls Club kids across the state who need more role models that they can emulate.”
Woodbury Teen Center (2013-2018)
The Woodbury Teen Center was founded by Ray Angelini, Amelia Kressler, Jeff Morris, John Paz and George Wagoner. John Paz was soon recruited and helped fund this important initiative that made a difference in the lives of a number of teens including the future Youth of the Year. John served as Board Vice President and is still a Board Member today. His contribution to the organization has made an incredible difference to children throughout Gloucester County and to the health of the organization. Ray Angelini, a Woodbury resident, also came on board in 2012, quickly becoming a major Board Member, contributor and fundraiser. Although he is no longer on the board he has continued to be a true friend of the organization.
After touching the lives of countless teens, including Nzingha, the Woodbury Teen Center was closed in 2018.
Non-Profit of the Year
In 2014, BGCGC was named Non-Profit of the Year by the Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce.
Paulsboro Teen Center
On November 20, 2014, the grand opening of the newly renovated 4,000 square feet of basement space at the Paulsboro Center was celebrated. This $420,000 capital improvement project was completed over a span of a few years. This space dedicated as the “Paulsboro Teen Center” can serve between 50-75 teens after school every day. Over the years this project had multiple public and private contributors. Once again, John Paz kept the project alive by matching funds with major contributions and helping to secure a large gift from Paulsboro Refinery Company. Ray Angelini, Chair of the Facilities Committee, oversaw the construction project along with committee members Bob Broughton, Jay Cipriani, George Wagoner and Jeff Sanders.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Gloucester County’s administrative offices are located at 123 High Street E. We currently have two Club Centers located in Glassboro and Paulsboro. Since our inception, thousands of children’s lives have been touched by our programs, thanks to the dedication and generosity of many of the individuals mentioned above.