In January 1943, a riot involving more than 100 teens broke out on the corner of 85th and Greenwood in Seattle.
Police who responded to the incident began looking for an answer to the growing community problem of juvenile crime and vandalism.
As a result, Deputy Joe Woelfert opened the first Boys & Girls Club (originally called the Boys Club) in King County—the North Seattle Club. It was a great success from the very start, and within two years, eight Clubs sprouted up in the area.
In the 1980s, the King County Clubs led the movement to add girls to our name, which came to pass nationally in 1990. Today, there are 29 Clubs around King County, not including Bellevue Boys & Girls Club (a separate charter with BGCA). Each of our 29 sites are focused on enriching the lives of kids every day.
In 1860, several women in Hartford, Connecticut decided that boys who were spending their days roaming the streets should have a positive alternative. So they organized the first Club…and a cause was born. In 1906, the Federated Boys Clubs in Boston was formed with 53 member organizations, marking the start of a nationwide movement.
The Boys Club Federation of America became Boys Clubs of America in 1931. The national organization's name was officially changed to Boys & Girls Clubs of America in 1990.
In 2006, Boys & Girls Clubs of America marked its centennial year—celebrating 100 years of providing kids all across the country with a place to play, learn and thrive.