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Merger strengthens youth programming

SPRINGVILLE—It’s been years in the making, but the Boys and Girls Club and Springville Youth Incorporated have merged into one organization. Aimed to provide the best opportunities for children in the community, The Club will be a division of SYI.

“I think at the end of the day, this is the best situation for the kids,” Bill Gugino said.

Gugino was named president of the Boys and Girls Club in January. Combining the two organizations wasn’t his idea, but he said he was happy to be able to make it finally work.

“I think the main thing was getting both boards of directors on the same page, talking about … what the best situation is for the kids,” he said. “It was all totally positive. There is a lot of support … and I think the kids really will be the real winners.”

The Springville division was connected to the Orchard Park Boys and Girls Club, and had been receiving support from that club. In Springville, SYI provided similar programming, operating as its own entity. Combining the two will allow for one organization providing sports, camps and out-of-school care to area youth.

“There was some overlapping with programming, and I think that [overlap] will become reduced,” Gugino said. “Financially, too, I think it will make us one stronger organization.”

Though the merger won’t be official until it gets through some legal requirements, the two have started combining programming. Most of the programming will remain the same, with some additional activities likely to be added. Better utilizing already available amenities – like SYI’s pool –  is also a goal of the merged organization.

With the summer season in full swing as the merger process began, Gugino is anticipating more work being done in the coming months.

“I think we’ll have more time as fall comes along,” Gugino said. “We’ll be able to focus more on the changes and how we’ll structure everything.”
Changes will include the board of directors, which will sit somewhere around 15 people when all is said and done. A larger board, Gugino said, will hopefully reduce the burnout that can happen when few people try to accomplish a lot.

“We need [more people], we really do,” he said. “I’ve been overwhelmed by the passion and energy everyone has. I’m really excited about it.”

Most of the programming will remain the same, with some additional activities likely to be added.

Gugino thanked everyone who has helped throughout the process, including Brad Evans and Eric Williams, who have been “outstanding” working with the kids while moving through the process.

“All the employees, really,” Gugino said. “They’ve all been outstanding throughout this process.”

The former Springville Boys and Girls Club is serving 60 kids in its summer camp, one of the largest it's ever seen, with a total of 100 kids entering programming. SYI serves kids through its sports teams, theatre and arts camps and the community pool.

Gugino, along with SYI President Wende Pukay, presented the changes to the Village Board of Trustees and Concord Town Board earlier this year. Both boards supported the merger, and thanked the duo for their work to strengthen programming for the children. For the rest of the community, Gugino said the organization is planning an open house later this year, but offered a recommendation to the general public.

“Stop down to the summer camp and see what the staff and kids do and their passion,” he said. “It’s a great thing to have in the community … and I think it’s great for people to see what we do.”


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