Boys & Girls Club of Springville names new officers a new partnership and an anti- drug program.

Big changes at the Boys and Girls Club of Springville became effective Nov. 1, 2017.  Not only was a new slate of officers elected, the club also changed its partnership from the Boys & Girls Club of East Aurora to the Boys & Girls Club of Orchard Park.  Though, you won’t notice any changes.

Newly elected officers are:

Jim Howe, Board President

Jessica Johnston, Board Vice President

Adam Beeman, Secretary

Ashley Kehr, Treasurer

Debra Randall, Immediate Past President.

The rest of the board consists of Jack Gerber, Eric Lawton and Deborah Ott.

Many years ago, when a dedicated group of Springville residents wanted to bring a Boys & Girls Club to Springville, they reached out to Gary D. Schutrum, Chief Professional Officer for the Boys & Girls Club of East Aurora.  The goal back then was for East Aurora to help Springville become a great club and reach its potential of taking care of the youth in Springville.  As Springville grew, East Aurora would back away and let Springville become an independent club with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

As time went on, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America changed its philosophy about individual clubs.  They were no longer granting new clubs and Springville would have to remain a “unit” of East Aurora.

With different community demographics than East Aurora, the Springville Board began looking at new long range options.  Many options were explored over the past 12 months, ending with a new partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Orchard Park.  Debra Randall, who was the board president through this transition period, said, “It came down to demographics.  We felt that the Orchard Park Club was more in line with the demographics in Springville.  If we were going to be in a long relationship as a ‘unit’ we wanted to find a club that better reflected Springville.”

Retiring board member, Marg Chapman said, “If it wasn’t for the Boys & Girls Club of East Aurora, we wouldn’t be here.  They are responsible for making us into what we are today.  They helped us through the rough times.  Times when we were struggling with our budget, times when we had more members and desperately needed more man power. And here we are now, all grown up.  Gary Schutrum was the key to our success.  We will miss him dearly.”

New board president Jim Howe said, “It’s a new chapter for the Springville Club.  It will be exciting and challenging, we are looking forward to the new relationship. We are looking forward to enhancing the experience for our club members as we continue to grow.”

One of the new challenges that club is undertaking is “Smart Moves.”   Smart Moves is an anti-drug program run through Boys & Girls Clubs or America.

Board members Chapman and Johnston have spearheaded the project.  With the help of Grover Riefler and the Springville Griffith Community Foundations’ recent event, the Wine and Cheese Tasting, enough money was raised to purchase the program and train club staff.   

Club members, through age appropriate topics, will learn resistance techniques that they will use forever and that will help them say no to destructive decisions.

Johnston said of the program, “We live in Springville and we see what is happening around us.  It’s a community issue and we felt it was our duty to jump in, roll up our sleeves and help solve the issue.  It’s been a lot of hard work.  But it is work that will pay off and make our community safer and better.”