Boys and Girls Club of the Chattahoochee Valley celebrates 85 years of service

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The Boys and Girls Club of the Chattahoochee Valley celebrated years of service in the lives of young people.

More than eight decades ago - Curtis R. Jordan founded The Columbus Boys Club - providing young men with a place to be productive.

The Boys and Girls Club of The Chattahoochee Valley serves 2,500 children every year. Multiply that by 85 that’s 212,500 youth who have had a safe and reliable place for extracurricular activities since 1937.

The club hosted a reception on Thursday, October 26, to thank donors and supporters who believe in what the organization has done for 85 years.

Curtis Jordan has a vision in 1937. He established the Columbus Boys Club in north Columbus - giving young men a place to stay out of trouble.

85 years, and six other locations later, thousands of children are introduced to doors that may not have ever opened.

“There’s many Boys and Girls Clubs across our country that actually, you know, fold because they didn’t have support,” said Rodney Close, President and CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs Chattahoochee Valley.

President and CEO, Rodney Close, credits part of the 85 years of excellence to donors and the community.

“From raising money on behalf of kids, to providing programming, to providing facilities for our kids... We couldn’t do it without the community,” said Close. “You know, we have a great board of about 59 board members and they believe in what we do. And the community believes in what we do.”

“Without the Boys and Girls Club, I wouldn’t be the person I am today,” said Courtney Brown.

Someone who reaps the benefits of being a product of the organization is Columbus Fire and EMS Fire Inspector, Courtney Brown. Brown went to the south Columbus Boys and Girls Club as early as 5 years old.

“They opened their doors to me, they helped me become the person II am today, they broaden the horizons for me,” said Brown. “Who knows where I would have been. A lot of people I came up with in the same neighborhood that wasn’t fortunate enough to participate in the Boys and Girls Clubs - they’re either not here or incarcerated.”

Someone on the right path is 15-year-old Edwin Brown. He says the Boys and Girls Club is changing his life now.

“It’s one of the most exciting times of my childhood because it changes so much because I actually got a job there and I started working for my future you know getting that money up,” said Brown.

The next 85 years of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Chattahoochee Valley include the new John F. Flournoy College and Career Center opening this December. It will serve ages 13 to 18 to provide access to academic success, healthy lifestyles, and character and leadership development.

Gabriela Johnson

Gabriela Johnson

Gabriela joined the News Leader 9 team as a reporter in July 2022.