To help kick off Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana’s Best Summer Ever campaign earlier this month, First Merchants Bank donated $7,500 to the organization as part of a dollar-for-dollar matching gift. The campaign raised funds to support Boys & Girls Clubs’ summer programming.
“We are so thankful to First Merchants Bank for their generous donation and for helping launch our campaign,” Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana President and CEO Ryan Smiley said. “This gift went a long way toward giving Club kids the Best Summer Ever, and we are grateful for their commitment to our shared communities.”
First Merchants pledged $1,000,000 to be contributed across all communities the banking institution serves throughout Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Michigan. Local leadership identified Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana as providing valuable services to communities and vital in the fight against COVID-19.
Smiley said the donation and subsequent campaign supported summer programming at nine region Club locations. Following eleven weeks of closure due to COVID-19, the organization re-opened its Clubs in Cedar Lake, Portage, Valparaiso, Chesterton and South Haven on June 1. The East Chicago, Gary and Hammond Clubs re-opened on June 15, and Lake Station Boys & Girls Club re-opened earlier this month.
Boys & Girls Clubs’ summer programming is focused on providing Club members with the Best Summer Ever in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that abruptly closed schools and shut down a number of recreational opportunities for region kids. Club members can participate in arts and STEM programming and are able to socialize with their friends all within the safety of Clubs, which implemented a number of precautions to keep Club members, their families and staff safe.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana:
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana has been opening doors to GREAT FUTURES for Porter and Lake County youth for over 60 years. Clubs are open after school and provide great places for youth in grades K-12 to meet friends and have fun while in a safe, supervised environment. Clubs are open during holidays and in the summer. Annual membership is only $40.00. For information on membership, volunteer opportunities, or to make a tax-deductible donation, please contact your local Club by calling (219) 764-2582 or visiting bgcgreaternwi.org. Great Futures Start HERE.