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South Boston Online
  Saturday, December 20, 2014
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xtra xtra!
Were You a "Club Kid"?
By Rick Winterson

     The South Boston Boys & Girls Club is close to realizing a long-sought goal – a website that celebrates its long history and current highlights, and most important, sets up a complete listing of the Club’s alumni/ae.

     Have you ever had the experience of meeting a long-lost friend while walking down the street of a strange town?  Or possibly, you now live outside of South Boston.  Have you ever met someone from here, who knew many of the same people you did?  Or who was a member of the Boys & Girls Club a few years before or after you were?  Whenever that happened, it was always memorable.

     With this in mind, the South Boston Boys & Girls Club has undertaken their “Alumni Project”.  Part of this Project is an Alumni Website; the design of this website began early in August.  To have a successful Alumni Website, the Club’s alums have to register.  More about registering later, but first, what is the Alumni Website all about?

     The mission of the website is providing an online community to connect alumni to the Club’s current activities.  Equally as important, the website is to connect Club alumni to each other.  Imagine that you have become a “Florida sunrunner” – not unheard of for South Bostonians.  Or perhaps you’re a “Carolina halfback” – increasingly common these days. 

     What if you had a resource that would list all of the Club Kids from the past, who are within an hour’s drive of where you live?  You could now contact them online by pressing a few keys, and set up a meeting to rekindle some fond memories.  Not too bad.  Now suppose you could catch up with those who were Club Kids when you were.  You would find men and women engaged in industry, government, religion, education, public service, and the raising of their families.  Even better.

     With information about the Club’s activities at your fingertips, you would be able to set aside time to attend the Annual St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon.  You might choose to run in the Club’s Road Race.  And there are two upcoming events of definite alumni interest: the golf tournament on September 5 (a Tuesday) and the Alumni Reunion on November 3 (a Friday).  Quarterly activity postings on the website will give you plenty of notice of such events.

     The Alumni Website will have more than just a social purpose.  If you agree, it will match you with a teen Club member having career interests similar to what you do – a wonderful way to mentor young people.  Also, the Boston Club administration wants to use the South Boston website as a model for establishing websites at other clubhouses around the City.

     The names of those who attended the last website meeting will give you a cross-section of the men and women who are spearheading the Alumni Website Project:  Clubhouse Director Harry Duvall, Patti McCormick, Jack McGrath, Nancy Byrne, Fr. James Lane, and Paul Saia.  For years, Father Jim has been advocating ways to get the Club’s alumni/ae more involved. 

     Paul Saia is serving as the Club’s Webmaster.  He is currently an Information Technology Consultant, an Executive-in-Residence at Babson, and an Adjunct Professor at Northeastern.  Paul’s Club affiliation goes back to its opening year in 1942.  After 11 years of active membership, he served as a counselor.  His wide experience in information technology matches the Club’s website needs perfectly.  He plans to incorporate into the Club’s website a home page, the mission statement, history, activities, event calendars, pictorials, current Club news, and the all-important alumni/ae register.

     It doesn’t need to be said, but here goes anyway.  Members of the Girls’ Club prior to the late 70’s consolidation into the Boys & Girls Club are especially encouraged to sign up also.  Here’s how:

     Send your full name, complete contact information, dates of club membership, biography/career profile (100 words or less), and a picture (scannable, please) to the Club at 230 West Sixth St., South Boston  02127; or to (617)268-4301; or to hduvall@bgcb.org.  That’s it for now.  You will be kept up to date as the Alumni Website Project progresses and matures. 



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