Author Topic: Holy Trinity/Boys & Girls Club  (Read 6912 times)

Offline Editor

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Holy Trinity/Boys & Girls Club
« on: October 19, 2009, 09:15:26 AM »
Boys, girls club will serve kids in Hackensack
Monday, October 19, 2009
By HARVY LIPMAN
RECORD COLUMNIST


Kids in Hackensack will soon have a new outlet for after-school activities.

The Boys and Girls Club of Lodi is opening a satellite facility at Holy Trinity School on Maple Street. There, the club will offer a range of athletic and educational programs to kids aged 6 to 17.

The organization is offering free memberships to children who want to try the club out during the week of Oct. 26.

Michael Nardino, the club's executive director, said the organization has worked on opening a site in Hackensack for more than five years.

"I was approached in 2003 by some citizens asking if we would be interested in going into Hackensack," Nardino said. A preliminary assessment at that time showed that more than 11,000 kids could make use of a club in the city.

"I think Hackensack needs us," he recalls deciding.

The club began negotiating with Hackensack officials, who in 2006 offered space in a building on Anderson Street. But Nardino said he quickly determined that the 25,000-square-foot location wasn't big enough to run a full-scale youth program.

Instead, that building will be used for club offices and a counseling center for "youth at risk."

To house its athletic and other programs, the club negotiated an arrangement with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese for use of the school. The Holy Trinity gym and another all-purpose room are big enough to accommodate about 200 children a day, Nardino said. While the current arrangement is temporary, he said he hopes to work out a long-term lease with the archdiocese.




Since July, the club has provided services to 30 Hackensack youths under a special state grant to help kids in need, busing them to Lodi for after-school programs.

Nardino said the club's biggest need is raising enough money to keep both its Lodi and Hackensack operations afloat.

"I have a $1 million dream with about $1 in my pocket," he said.

The Boys and Girls Club's mission is to serve mostly low-income kids who need its services, so it keeps its membership fee low (currently $50) and relies on funds raised through the bingo games it runs at the Lodi facility and donations.

Anyone interested in donating can do so through the club's Web site, www.bgcoflodi.org, or by calling the club at 973-473-7410.

E-mail: lipman@northjersey.com
« Last Edit: October 19, 2009, 09:17:40 AM by Editor »



Offline itsme

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Holy Trinity/Boys & Girls Club
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2009, 11:20:56 AM »
In 2003, Larry Riley approached Mr. Nardino seeking to start a Boys and Girls Club in Hackensack.  Riley along with several citizens of Hackensack met with Mr. Nardino and from that meeting decided to approach the City about assisting in locating a building for purchase.  The group attended a council meeting in 2004 and were told that the city was not interested and had no buildings available and further that the city had its own recreation department.  In any event, when I learned in the newspaper that the City was helping to open a satellite location of the Boys and Girls Club, I along with others were surprised.  In fact, I was surprised that space became available in the Green Uniform building purchased by the City. 

I am happy that there will be a Boys and Girls Club in Hackensack however, I am sorry that Mr. Riley has not been given any recognition for initiating the conversation.

I had hoped that the Board of Education would take over the Holy Trinity School for the Board offices since the newly constructed building on Second Street will not be able to accommodate all Board offices and the space in the Middle School that was to be freed for use as classrooms will not, despite an increasing need for space.

Offline Editor

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Holy Trinity/Boys & Girls Club
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2009, 11:47:32 AM »
Related topic: Boys & Girls Club Proposal (mentions Mr. Riley).

Offline itsme

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Re: Holy Trinity/Boys & Girls Club
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2009, 12:24:36 PM »
Yes, prior to 2006, Mr. Riley was mentioned.  When the city finally agreed to assist, Mr. Nardino or the city could have and should have included Mr. Riley in the planning stages.

Offline just watching

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Re: Holy Trinity/Boys & Girls Club
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2009, 05:18:33 PM »
I was reading through old posts.  Is it true that this is going to be a gambling center.  That gambling will be funding the organization.

Offline Homer Jones

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Re: Holy Trinity/Boys & Girls Club
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2009, 07:05:56 PM »
Yes, and supported by greyhound racing on the Johnson Park Waterfront Walkway and bull fighting on the Green during lunch hour.

Two dollars on number 7 to place.

Offline just watching

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Re: Holy Trinity/Boys & Girls Club
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2009, 11:17:52 AM »
Hey Old Homer, I was posing a serious question. 

According to old posts, Lodi Boys and Girls Club is funded by a large Bingo operation, with hundreds of gamblers per night crowding into an auditorium on the second floor of the Lodi facility.  Most of them are elderly and the working poor on fixed incomes, addicted to bingo gambling, and generally losing money.  It would seem that Lodi is the biggest gambling center in New Jersey other than Atlantic City.

Is this what is in store for the Holy Trinity school's auditorium ????

Offline itsme

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Re: Holy Trinity/Boys & Girls Club
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2009, 02:42:28 PM »
The Lodi Boys & Girls Clubs is definitely funded by its Bingo operation.  I would like to know if this is how it will also be funded in Hackensack.  Unfortunately, many Boys and Girls Clubs resort to Bingo because it is viable means of funding.  Will this be another recreation program funded by city taxes or have there been any other discussion or ideas with regard to serious fundraising that will continue to support this program?

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Re: Holy Trinity/Boys & Girls Club
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2009, 08:53:14 AM »
Boys & Girls Club using former church school in Hackensack
Monday, November 30, 2009
The Record

WHAT'S NEW: The Boys & Girls Club of Lodi and Hackensack has moved into the former Holy Trinity School on Maple Avenue in Hackensack. The non-profit will lease the gym and the lower floor of the building. Tina King, director of the Hackensack program, said the club is working on finalizing a 15-year lease with the parish, but that the program is already operating out of the new space. "The kids seem to love it and enjoy it," King said. "Now they have their own space and they are taking ownership of it."

BACKGROUND: Members of the Boys & Girls Club of Lodi approached city officials three years ago about opening a satellite office in Hackensack. In July, the non-profit organization began its Hackensack program, which now serves more than 70 youngsters ages 5 to 16, King said. Besides getting help with their homework, the children play sports and learn about eating healthy, King said. Before the opening of the satellite site, Hackensack youngsters were transported by bus to the Lodi Boys & Girls Club on Passaic Avenue, said King.

WHAT'S NEXT: Boys & Girls Club officials are finalizing their lease with Holy Trinity. The non-profit organization will also seek funds and grants to pay for renovations to the building, King said. "We want to fix it up for the kids," she said. Among the programs that will start in the new site are "Smart Girls" and "Passport to Manhood," in which volunteers and mentors will talk to youngsters about different topics, including the dangers of drug use. "This is a community effort and we definitely need the support of our community," King said.

Monsy Alvarado

Offline just watching

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Re: Holy Trinity/Boys & Girls Club
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2010, 04:18:33 AM »
Wow, it's amazing how Hackensack's Oratam Court housing project has transformed over the past 10 years.  It's went from being a drug-ridden disgrace in the community and a source of shame to being fully renovated and upgraded, and now it has actually become a MAGNET LOCATION for youth mentoring programs.  Wow !!!  You don't see that in The Record article, and that's because these reporters are just taking a snapshot of what is going on, and don't know the whole history behind any particular issue.

Compare this to Paterson or Newark's housing projects.  Hackensack might be a city, but we really are very different from all the other cities in New Jersey.

Special thanks to Joseph Zisa for all his work over the years to make this transition.  He was actively involved with Snyder and the Housing Authority behind the scenes on everything from the "one strike and you're out" drug policy to getting $7 million in federal grants for the rehab, including the new metal rooflines and exterior painting, as well as the original construction of the Keeling-Manning building.  He even played a part in getting HUMC to change the design of the parking tower to "wall off" the whole south side from light, litter, and noise that would have otherwise spilled out from the parking tower onto the Oratam Court property.

I'm really starting to become a believer in the Boys Club thing, it's not just an oppy to open a bingo gambling operation in Hackensack for the Nardino clan.

Hackensack Boys & Girls Club finds a new home
Thursday, October 7, 2010
BY MONSY ALVARADO
THE RECORD
STAFF WRITER
HACKENSACK The Boys & Girls Club has found a place in the city to call home.
 
GEORGE MCNISH /SPECIAL TO THE RECORD
J' Nay Henry, Kenyaei Rah Rodney and Calia Austin recite the pledge of allegiance at the Keeling-Manning Pavilion.
On Thursday, officials showcased a renovated building on Sussex Street that will be used by the club to run its after school and summer programs.
The new gym, classrooms, and kitchen are located in the Keeling-Manning Pavilion, a two-story building in Oratam Court, a public housing complex. The Hackensack Housing Authority is allowing the club to use the space at no cost; it will pay the club $50,000 annually to run its programs at the site.
In return, the club will allow children who live in the citys public housing buildings to participate in programs for free. The club already serves about 120 children from Hackensack, club officials said.
 This is it, this is home, said Michael Nardino, the executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Lodi/Hackensack. I have the key and they cant lock me out.
The renovations and additions to the building were paid with more than $1.1 million in federal funds the Hackensack Housing Authority received last year, said William Snyder, HHA executive director. The money was part of the American Recovery Reinvestment Act, officials said.
The million dollars came to help us take this center and make it what it is today, which is in my mind a place of hope, and opportunity, and transformation, said Sen. Robert Menendez, who spoke at the event and helped cut the ribbon.
The senator was joined by Rep. Steven Rothman, D-Fair Lawn, Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney, Bergen County Freeholder John Hogan, Hackensack Mayor Karen Sasso, City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono, and City Council members Marlin Townes and Jorge Meneses.
More than 100 people filled the newly painted royal blue and gold gym to hear speakers talk about their journey to finding a permanent home.
For years, the Keeling-Manning building was used primarily as a venue for residents birthday parties, and the other half was used as a laundry room, Snyder said.
It was very underutilized and I knew I had that resource, and I just couldnt figure out how I wanted to renovate it, he said. We finally came up with a design to turn half of it into a gymnasium and we built another level on it for what I term a campus of learning.
Snyder said he had also been in the process of designing programs for the 50 or so children who live in the buildings that would address not only academics, but social and self-esteem issues. The programs would have been part of what he calls the Freedom Project, a holistic approach to improving the lives of youngsters living in public housing.
He said he then learned The Boys & Girls Club had similar activities, and were looking for a place to run their programs.
I quickly realized that the concepts that they use with dealing with at-risk youth was exactly the same as my concept. It was a likely marriage, Snyder said.
In 2006, the Boys & Girls Club of Lodi began its Hackensack program, three years after it was suggested by long-time Hackensack resident Larry Riley, Nardino said. At first, the club operated out of space on Anderson Street and then Holy Trinity School. The school space was great, Nardino said, but when the parish got new tenants earlier this year, a move was inevitable. Nardino said he didnt give up hope of finding another site.
I had no idea where Id be but I knew I would be here [in Hackensack], he said. I wasnt leaving. I wasnt going to turn back.
Thats when, he said, Lo Iacono, the Hackensack city manager, told him about Snyders project. The two men met, and decided to form the partnership.
On Thursday, officials also unveiled a new yellow school bus, which was paid for with a private donation, which will be used to transport children to the clubs facilities.
The Hackensack site will not be open for children activities until later this month. Officials said they are still waiting for some equipment, and to get their final certificate of occupancy.
Twelve-year olds, Gary Drakeford and Bobby Matthews, who do their homework and play basketball at the club, said they cant wait to use the new space.
Its bigger and better, Bobby said. And it will get kids off the street.
Nardino said the club is also renovating 12,000-square-foot of space in a building owned by the city on Anderson Street, which will be used for counseling programs.
E-mail: alvarado@northjersey.com
« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 08:37:41 AM by Editor »