Boys & Girls Club of Valparaiso may be moving to a brand-new building that will offer more amenities than the previous building, but it will take its legacy with it. To acknowledge all the members that came before this migration, the new Boys & Girls Club of Valparaiso building will feature an Alumni & Friends Wall.
“The Club started in 1971. We just wrapped up construction on a new building and thought that it would be great to have alumni from all the way back in 1971 be a part of it,” said General Relations Manager Deb Koeppen.
As a former member of the Club with great memories of attending the Club as a child, Julie Loza McCaffrey knew she wanted her name on the Alumni & Friends Wall.
“I have such fond memories of my time in the club, and I've always wanted to give back so that others can have the same opportunities I did,” she said. “I'm happy to have an opportunity to give back in a meaningful way.”
McCaffrey recalls spending much of her time in the computer lab or doing crafts. Her favorite memory from her time at the Club was attending an etiquette class for a few weeks during middle school. She credits this class with her knowledge of table settings and formal dining rules. Whatever activity she had her sights set on for the day, McCaffrey looked forward to going to the Club and dreaded leaving.
“For much of elementary and middle school, I spent the afternoons at Boys & Girls Club. It was a safe place with people that I knew cared about me,” McCaffrey said. “There was always an activity happening, like movies, organized games in the gym, crafts, and computer time. I enjoyed getting to make friends from other schools as well. It was always sad when your name would go over the PA system announcing that your parent was there for pickup.”
Former members of the Club and friends can take their place on the Alumni & Friends Wall for $250. While the wall features many alumni, Koeppen noted that non-members have also donated to earn their spot on the wall.
“One man said, ‘Well, I am not an alum and I've never been to a club, but because I’m a father, I think my kids will take advantage of this.’ He just wanted to give a donation which was great to hear,” Koeppen said.
The Alumni & Friends Wall will allow parents and their children to begin the tradition of leaving their marks in the new Club building. The wall can be found just past the Donor Wall, which is straight ahead of the entrance.
To purchase a place on the Alumni & Friends Wall at the Boys & Girls Club of Valparaiso, visit https://www.bgcgreaternwi.org/.