Out of more than 100 entries, Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich was named the 1st place recipient of the 2019-2020 Torch Club Award in the area of Service to Club and Community by Boys & Girls Clubs of America. In addition, Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich’s Torch Club was named the 2nd place recipient of the 2019-2020 Torch Club National Project Award.
Through a character and leadership program called Torch Club, Boys & Girls Club youth ages 11-13 initiate and plan community service projects and civic engagement activities throughout the school year. Torch Club is a “club within the Club,” helping to meet the character-development needs of younger adolescents at a critical stage in their life.
For the 1st place award, Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich submitted their “Lights, Camera, Fashion” event, a fashion show and dance for clients from Abilis that took place in February of 2020. Torch Club members collaborated with their fellow 14-18 year-old Keystone Club youth to coordinate the event for the non-profit organization that provides services and support to over 700 individuals with special needs.
“Our Torch Club members chose this project with Abilis and Keystone because it was one way for our members to celebrate and emphasize diversity,” said Camryn Ferrara, Torch Club advisor and Athletic Coordinator for Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich. “Our Torch club members contacted local retail stores seeking clothing donations for the fashion show which provided enough outfits to accommodate 21 models. In addition to our clothing donors, we also had other agencies within the community supply food to all those in attendance.”
In addition to the 1st place award, Junior Cardinals Torch Club was named the 2nd place recipient of the 2019-2020 Torch Club National Project Award for its “Salute to Our Troops” project. This project consisted of 3 events: Battle of the Heroes, Family Game Night and a bake sale.
“These events brought together the Greenwich community as well as our Boys and Girls Club members and their families,” said Ashley Culver, Torch Club advisor and Aquatics Coordinator for Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich. “Our project raised money to create holiday care packages that we sent to Club Alumni who currently serve in the military and troops within their unit who are serving our country.”
“The national project allows Torch Club members to become leaders in their own Clubs and communities. The 2019-20 Torch Club National Project, ‘Seeds of Kindness,’ focused on everyday acts of kindness that are created and implemented by Torch Club members,” said Tiffany Thornton, Senior Director, Youth Development Services for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “The Junior Cardinals Torch Club is a shining example of the how this generation of young leaders is both passionate and committed to making meaningful change and impact in their Club and community. BGCA and Old Navy proudly recognize Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich’s overall and continued efforts to support Club members of all ages through service and leadership programs. I truly look forward to seeing what the Junior Cardinals will do next!”
A Torch Club is a powerful vehicle through which young people develop and strengthen their 21st-century leadership skills, giving them a firm foundation of good character and integrity. Torch Club members elect officers and work together to implement projects in the four focus areas: service to Club and community; education; health and fitness; and social recreation.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of America is awarding the Greenwich Junior Cardinals Torch Club $2,500 for the 1st place finish and an additional $1,500 for the 2nd place finish.
This is the third year in a row Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich has won the national award. In 2018-2019, the Club won 1st Place Torch Club National Seeds of Kindness Project for “Community Helping Communities” as well as the Torch Club Bearer Award (Advisors of the year, Camryn Ferrara and Ashley Culver); and 2017-2018 2nd place Service to Club and Community for the “Dodge For A Cause” event.
“Our Club members prioritize contributing to our community in meaningful ways. We are thrilled that their dedication and commitment to service projects like these have been recognized at the national level,” said Cristina Vittoria, Chief Executive Officer of Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich.