Activities to mark Boys & Girls Clubs week
by DELANEY WALKER Banner Staff Writer
Mar 16, 2014 | 660 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BGCC National Week
BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF CLEVELAND members take turns making s’mores using different types of candy.
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The National Boys & Girls Clubs of America are set to celebrate a week of fun, and the local clubs of Cleveland want the community to join in the celebration.

Tucker Unit Director Britt DeBusk explained children who show up to the Boys & Girls Clubs with a health fair flyer distributed to area schools can receive free membership from Monday through Friday, March 21.

Free membership based on the flyers is only available during the week-long celebration.

Events on Monday and Thursday are also open to the general public.

A free health fair on Monday at 4:30 will kick off the week. Local nonprofits, service agencies and health organizations will set up tables loaded down with information at the Tucker Unit on 3rd Street. Inflatables, face painting, fingernail painting and kickball will all be setup for youngsters to enjoy.

In addition, free haircuts will be given to anyone in attendance.

RAW Art Dance Studio signed up to provide a 15- to 20-minute show. The routine will be completed every 30 to 40 minutes.

Members of the Cleveland clubs are especially excited to compete in and attend the basketball championship games for the pre-teens and teenagers.

According to DeBusk, the pre-teen game will start at 5:30. The teen game will start at 6:30.

“It will be controlled chaos,” DeBusk said. “There will be no way of rotating [through the events] on that day.”

Food will also be provided free of charge through the Omega Center International.

Tuesday is members-only, which includes the members attending with the health fair flyer, tailgate party. There will be games, kickball, cornhole and a cookout. Children and teens alike will have the opportunity to make s’mores in the cafeteria.

On Wednesday a class from Lee University is taking over the normal activity at the Tucker Unit.

The class decided to host a decade-by-decade sock hop. Members will travel from room to room dancing to music from the 1950s through the 1990s. A special snack will be included at each stop.

Members in the teen center will engage in a battle of survival while the younger members dance the day away.

DeBusk said there will be multiple sports played by the teens as part of the competition. A cookout will provide much needed nourishment after the day’s activities.

An inter-club robot competition at Cleveland State Community College will pull some of the members away from the festivities. The clubs recently received 24 new robots. Members have enjoyed learning how to program and move the small devices.

“The new ones are actually easier. You can program them using an iPad. The teens really enjoy those,” DeBusk said. “We’ve put those more in the teen unit than in the younger area.”

Thursday will mark the end of the celebration with 18 of the clubs brightest stars competing in the public Cleveland Has Talent Show.

According to DeBusk, each individual club had its own talent show. Out of the acts, the top two or three made it to the big talent show. First, second and third place will be awarded to individuals in the 6-12 and 13-18 age groups.

DeBusk said the show helps the club discover the hidden talents of its almost 2,000 members.

“Is that my best role? No, I’m not good at it, but I get up there and make a fool of myself and it gets the kids excited,” DeBusk said. “Schools don’t do it that much anymore, because they don’t have time.”

He said week-long celebrations and special events are important for the young members.

“As unit director I enjoy them. They are a lot of fun. It is a lot of work to put everything together, but it is fun,” DeBusk said. “If it wasn’t for the Boys & Girls Clubs, [members] may not be able to do a lot of stuff. They may not get to do these special activities.”

More information can be found by calling 559-8299.