The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation Pledges $500,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley.
Longtime supporters of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley (BGCAZ), The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation has awarded a $500,000 grant to support ongoing Club operations. The grant comes at a critical time as BGCAZ has had to expand programming during this time of COVID to continue its mission of helping youth and teens develop the skills and resiliency needed to successfully navigate childhood and reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible members of the community.
“Despite challenges brought on by the pandemic, the Boys & Girls Club has continued to put children first and provide a safe and supportive environment for families in our community,” said Bob Parsons, Founder & CEO of PXG.
Funding from this grant will help ensure that BGCAZ is able to deliver high-quality programming and increase staff capacity for the thousands of youth served in the Clubs. During an average year, BGCAZ serves more than 16,000 youth and teen Club members and provides more than 500,000 healthy meals and snacks. Throughout the pandemic, the Clubs have been operating at approximately 250 percent of average hours and supporting thousands of families.
“Last March, when COVID-19 hit Arizona, BGCAZ immediately expanded our operations and pivoted programs to provide extended childcare to healthcare and essential employees around the Valley,” said Marcia Mintz, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley. “This gift from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation comes at a critical juncture where we are continuing to serve those who need us most and preparing for a ‘new normal’ in our operations. We are investing in additional academic support programs, technology and staff training.”
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley have remained open for youth in Valley communities not only for afterschool care, but also for aid in distance learning. By providing Distance Learning Labs at 18 Clubs across the Valley, and offering extended Club hours from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, BGCAZ was able to serve up to 2,500 students – ages 5 to 18 years old – while also maintaining the CDC’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
“In a time of great uncertainty, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley has offered young people a much-needed sense of stability and constant support,” said Renee Parsons, President and Executive Creative Director of PXG Apparel. “The Clubs have stepped up to help families navigate things like distance learning and adapt to the new world we are all facing.”
In addition to increased operating hours, expenses for other resources and safety protocols in the Clubs increased just as quickly. These expenses included reducing student-to-staff ratios to follow social distancing guidelines, providing two nutritious meals and snacks per day, PPE, additional program supplies, and, of course, janitorial and IT support. Most importantly, these additional costs were not borne by families who are also struggling. BGCAZ was committed to keep program fees consistent and affordable.
The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation is a longtime supporter of BGCAZ. Over the years, The Foundation has invested a combined $8+ million to the organization including numerous academic scholarships, live auction items and other donations. The pandemic remains uncertain, but this gift will help BGCAZ continue to best serve those who need Clubs most. BGCAZ provides educational and recreational programming designed to help youth reach their full potential. A large focus is placed on academic achievement, personal development and leadership, resulting in higher than average graduation rates among Club members. To learn more about BGCAZ, and its impact on the community, please visit bgcaz.org.