By Alicia Dziak

Over the years in Springville, two organizations have provided numerous programming to the youth in the community—Springville Youth Inc. (SYI) and the Boys & Girls Club of Springville. SYI is possibly best known for their huge rec soccer and baseball programs, offering swimming lessons at their pool in the Village, and for their variety of summer programming, many of which relate to sports or the arts; the Boys & Girls Club of Springville has provided the community with an established before and after school program, and a supervised hangout for older kids, along with a popular summer day camp program, at their facility on Maple Ave. in Springville.

In recent years, the Boys & Girls Club of Springville has been affiliated with the Boys & Girls Club of Orchard Park, but according to Boys & Girls Club of Springville board president Bill Gugino, the local organization really evaluated the support they received from OP, as well as from the national level, and decided it was time for a change. Gugino said a merger with SYI has been on the table for many years, and that the two boards were finally able to bring everything together in recent months.

As a result, the two youth-focused non-profit organizations, who previously had a “good working relationship,” have decided to merge. The Maple Ave. facility will now be known as “The Club of Springville, a division of SYI” with new signage coming soon.

Rest assured, the merger will not affect any of the current programming for either organization. “All of the programs will continue to run,” emphasized Wende Pukay, president of SYI’s board. SYI’s current 9-person board and the Club’s current 5-person board will also merge as a result, bringing more people and more ideas to the table.

“The day to day won’t change,” Gugino agreed. “If anything, we will be stronger by being able to put different minds together.” He noted that Eric Williams will head up the before and after school programs, while Brad Evans will run things at the Club facility, and both of them will work together during the summer day camp.

“As both organizations serve the same community with similar goals for the youth of our community, the boards feel this is an opportunity to come together to be able to expand on our current programming and create new possibilities,” Pukay stated.

“At the end of the day, two great organizations are merging with the same common goal,” Gugino said. “It’s all about the kids.”

Stay tuned to the Springville Times and the SYI website and Facebook page for more info.