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Boys & Girls Clubs of America had its beginnings in 1860 with three women in Hartford, Connecticut - Mary Goodwin, Alice Goodwin and Elizabeth Hammersley. Believing that boys who roamed the streets should have a positive alternative, they organized the first Club.   With character development as the cornerstone of the experience, the Club focused on capturing boys interests, improving their behavior and increasing their personal expectations and goals.  A cause was born.


  • In 1906, several Boys Clubs decided to affiliate. The Federated Boys Clubs in Boston was formed with 53 member organizations – this marked the start of a nationwide Movement and our national organization.

  • In 1931, the Boys Club Federation of America became Boys Clubs of America.

  • In 1956, Boys Clubs of America celebrated its 50th anniversary and received a U.S. Congressional Charter.

  • To recognize the fact that girls are a part of our cause, the national organization's name was changed to Boys & Girls Clubs of America in 1990. Accordingly, Congress amended and renewed our charter.

  • In 1992, Boys and Girls Club of America added a new unit that focuses on Native youth.

  • In 1997, the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa County officially started in Miami on December 11th.

  • In 1999, Ottawa County expanded their Boys and Girls Club to Fairland and Picher.

  • 2006 marked the Centennial year of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, as we celebrated 100 years of providing hope and opportunity to young people across the country.

  • In 2008, the Picher club shut down and extended to Commerce.

  • In 2017, the Miami unit moved into the Armory.

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