CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. — The Boys and Girls Club of Cheektowaga is preparing to officially open this month.
The club is set to start serving 100 participants starting Tuesday. A grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the organization at the Alexander Community Center will take place Thursday.
The club is named to honor Williamsville native Marine Gunnery Sergeant Aaron Kenefick. Kenefick died in 2009 while supporting combat operations in Kunar Province, Afghanistan.
“I’m so excited to see this Boys & Girls Club come to fruition. Until today, Cheektowaga was the largest municipality in Western New York without a Club,” said Assemblymember Monica Wallace.
“Studies show that kids who participate in Boys & Girls clubs are more likely to go to college, have higher test scores and higher incomes later in life, report lower levels of depression, and are less likely to engage in risky behaviors. Now, kids in Cheektowaga will also have the chance to reap the many benefits that these clubs provide. Congratulations to everyone who made this day a reality!”
Start-up funding for the club was secured in 2019 by Wallace. Through 2020, over $300,000 of the $500,000 goal was raised.
Cheektowaga Chief of Police Brian Gould who is credited as being a major part of the effort said, "Through the dedication and generosity of our community, we will be able to provide the youth of Cheektowaga a safe after school activity staffed by positive role models."
The grand opening ceremony is at 6 p.m. on Thursday and will include a tour of the facility and refreshments. Everyone is welcome to attend.