United Way grant helps establish latest Boys & Girls Club branch in Oakhaven neighborhood

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From left, Vinny Borello, Meghan Harris, Evelyn Young, Pedro Tieg (in front of Young), Randy McKnight and Roderick Daniel. Harris and Tieg, shown here lifting the victory ribbon, are the first Boys & Girls Club members in Oakhaven.

The youth of the Oakhaven community have an extra reason to celebrate the holidays this month, as a special grant from United Way of the Mid-South helped open the doors of a Boys and Girls Clubs location in the neighborhood in time for Christmas.

From left, Bob Cochran, who started the very first Boys and Girls Club in Memphis, talks with Vinny Borello about the Oakhaven location's plans.

From left, Bob Cochran, who started the very first Boys and Girls Club in Memphis, talks with Vinny Borello about the Oakhaven location’s plans.

The new Boys and Girls Club is located at 3910 Tchulahoma in South Memphis.

“I would be remiss if I did not thank United Way of the Mid-South,” said Vinny Borello, President / CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis.

“In this whole process, they stepped up with emergency monies and said ‘we want to help get this club open for the kids.’ They helped us in so many ways, with the electric and plumbing and everything we needed to get to where we are today.”

United Way contributed $26,000 to get the doors of the Boys & Girls Clubs in Oakhaven open. The neighborhood was identified as a great site for a Boys & Girls Club, which helps young people get direction in life thanks to a caring staff that shows young people how they can have fun and learn, while not ending up on the streets or in gangs.

“This club opening up today is a bright light for our community,” said Randy McKnight, chairman of the Board for Boys & Girls Clubs.

Evelyn Young, Club Executive Director, welcomed staff and visitors and shared how quickly work had transformed the location into Memphis’ latest Boys and Girls Club, saying  “A week ago you would not have noticed this building as the Boys & Girls Club. It is just absolutely phenomenal that our branch at this location has finally opened. If your kids live in this neighborhood or if you know kids in this community who need to be a part of us, send them our way. To our United Way guests, thank you so much for your support.”

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