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Boys & Girls Club of Stockton, CA Celebrates 50th Anniversary | Community Spirit

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Boys & Girls Club of Stockton, CA Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Since 1963, the Boys and Girls Club of Stockton has been a safe place where underserved kids can be kids and avoid the trappings of drugs and gangs in their neighborhoods. The club will celebrate its 50th anniversary with events today and Saturday at the Cechini Clubhouse and the adjoining Sousa Pool. for details visit stocktonkids.org

The Boys and Girls Club of America was founded in the mid-1800s in Hartford, Conn., to give kids whose parents worked long hours an alternative to roaming the streets.

In 1963, then-presiding juvenile court judge John B. Cechini founded the Boys and Girls Club of Stockton, which first occupied the old juvenile hall facility at Wilson Way and Hazelton Avenue before it moved to its current location on Olympic Circle. Cechini was active with the club, which operates more than a dozen facilities in the city, and enlisted assistance from local law enforcement agencies and community leaders. Cechini passed away in 2005 at age 90.  

The afterschool program at the Cechini Clubhouse serves 30 to 40 kids per day, the vast majority of whom attend King School. In the summer, more than 300 children from throughout the city take part in day camps, magic shows, art and piano lessons, recreational swimming and swimming lessons. Many other activities also are offered.

The Cechini Clubhouse has volunteer tutors, computers and academic resources, arcade-style video games and a gymnasium. Soon, cooking classes and other home economics skills will be available for kids and adults.

The club has an annual budget of about $1.5 million and is funded through donations, as well as grants from the state, Stockton Unified School District and other organizations.

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