Zimin emphasized that while “Greater Shasta” is in the club’s name, it is open to children living anywhere in the county. “We want to serve those who need us most, regardless of location or economic barriers,” he added.

The local Boys & Girls Club meeting room was filled with grins and glee Thursday as Noam Zimin, the club’s executive director, announced that the Boys & Girls Club of the Siskiyous is now officially an independent charter organization with a new name – the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Shasta. The occasion was marked with a ribbon cutting ceremony and an open house, which was attended by the club’s board and supporters, and of course, the children for whom it exists.

Zimin noted that Boys & Girls Clubs of America has not recognized a new charter club in California in eight years. But the occasion is important for other reasons as well. BGCGS was formerly under the same umbrella as Boys & Girls Club of the Redwoods, which allowed the local club to have collaborative help on activities and other day to day club functions.

BGCGS’s journey to become a stand-alone organization began around the time of Boys & Girls Club of the Siskiyous’s inception in 2017. That dream finally became a reality because of community and board support and a “collective desire to enhance the lives of young people in our community,” BGCGS notes on its website.

Now that BGCGS is its own entity, it will have more opportunities for grant funding and staffing support – things that will strengthen the club and allow it to better serve local kids.

Zimin emphasized that while “Greater Shasta” is in the club’s name, it is open to children living anywhere in the county. “We want to serve those who need us most, regardless of location or economic barriers,” he added.

Since it opened in 2017, BGCGS has served 535 members in second through eighth grades. The club’s programs include STEM education, gardening, homework assistance, sports, games, pottery, painting, and graphics.

The club’s mission is clearly stated on its updated website: “We empower youth to reach their full potential as responsible, caring and productive citizens through professionally led programs and activities that are fun, positive and relevant in a safe, supportive and healthy environment.”

The club has also identified the priority outcomes it hopes to see members achieve: Academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles.

Its status as a charter club will also allow BGCGS to build on its partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of West San Gabriel Valley. The two clubs have worked collaboratively, which included BGCWSGV visiting Mount Shasta last summer to donate a van to the local club. Kids from both clubs also enjoyed shared activities.

Mount Shasta Police Department Chief/BGCGS Board President Parish Cross was one of many BGCGS board members present for the ribbon cutting Thursday. He noted that he is invested in the club due to his interest in the community from a safety and security standpoint. “We have to make sure [the club] is sustainable at nearly all costs,” he said.