More than one hundred local supporters decided to ‘swing’ into action for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania at their 39th annual Nellie King Golf Classic held at The Sewickley Heights Golf Club.  The fundraising event which was chaired by celebrity host Mike Tomczak of the Pittsburgh Steelers  had attendees enjoying a full day of fun while “teeing it up” for an important mission – inspiring and enabling all young people, especially those that need them most, to reach their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens of our community.

Guests kicked off festivities with a grilled lunch before golfers enjoyed a 1:00 pm shotgun start and 18 holes on Sewickley’s beautiful greens designed by golf course architect, Jim Harrison. Afterwards, guests gathered for cocktails before enjoying a buffet dinner, a silent auction and being awarded skill prizes for the day’s play.

Proceeds from the event will be used solely to provide inner city children with summer camp opportunities available at each of their eight club locations.  The camps which are open Monday-Friday 8 am-5 pm provide each child with a nutritious breakfast, lunch and snacks.  Each day campers enjoy traditional indoor and outdoor games, arts & crafts, computer games, fun physical challenges, as well as a variety of team and individual sports in a non-competitive and fun atmosphere.  Last summer the organization’s summer camp attendance grew by 40% so this year’s golf proceeds will be instrumental in 2016 camp season. The “Clubs” are predicting over 6,000 youth this year to attend and continue to see an increase in the demand.

“During the summer months, thousands of families depend on their local Boys & Girls Club to care for their children and provide them with a safe haven from the streets”, said Mike Hepler, President and C.E.O. of Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania.  “They know each day that they just dropped them off at a special place full of creative activities to keep them busy and caring staff to watch over them. We consider it a real privilege to make the growing up years count for the children of the community.” As one of those children who grew up in the ‘Club’ “said Mike, “I depended on their Summer Camp program and know first-hand how important this is to the children.”

Guests had the opportunity to draw a child’s name and sponsor them for a week or more of summer cam which costs $75.00 per week.

The evening program featured the Boys & Girls Clubs 2016 Youth of the Year, Mia Vento, who spoke to guests about the personal impact the “Club” has had on her life.  The evening culminated with the presentation of the National 2016 Champion of Youth Award to John Devine, Regional Manager of Western Pennsylvania and Buffalo Wild Wings for their amazing commitment to the Boys & Girls Club participants. “John and Buffalo Wild Wings have helped us create new and exciting opportunities for inner city children that have had a tremendous impact on our agency during the past decade,” said Mike Hepler.  “Their belief in our mission has resulted in major improvements to our facilities, much needed resources for after school programs, and of course, an ongoing supply of delicious wings to reward the children for their achievements.  Annual Community Day Fundraising at Buffalo Wild Wings locations in our region not only generated much needed resources for children’s programs, they designed and distributed promotional marketing materials that spread the word on the good things we do every day in our Clubhouses,” said Mike Hepler. “We are very fortunate to have John Devine and his Buffalo Wild Wings “A-Team” always ready to lend a helping hand.”

It’s not too late for you to provide a great summer for a local child.  Click here to learn how!