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Haverhill

March 6, 2013

Former Boys Club goes from 2 girls to 400

Local Boys & Girls Club celebrates five years serving both genders

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"We're uniting families to create lasting memories," he said.

New programs that were introduced at the urging of both girl and boy members include cheerleading, dance and ballet. The club's technology center was modernized and expanded, while the club's new commercial kitchen sparked the introduction of a cooking program. The gymnasium received a total makeover too, with new lighting, a new scoreboard, a refinished floor and other enhancements.

Tyresse Gutierrez, 11, a sixth-grader at Consentino School, said he loves playing basketball on the gym's refinished floor.

"The girls cheer us on during games," Tyresse said. "And I like the food and the snacks."

At one point during Saturday's celebration, the club will introduce 60 boy and girl members for a 20-minute flurry of presentations on what they're doing at the club these days. Kids on the dance and cheerleading teams will perform a brief program. Kids in the cooking program will distribute samples of their baked goods. Kids in the honor roll club will distribute report cards asking guests to answer five questions about the event, while kids in the technology program will hand out copies of a year-in-review newsletter they created. Hockey and basketball league players will showcase skills they learned over the past season. Members in the arts and crafts program created all of the centerpieces for the event. The club's teen program will be represented by Destiny Alicea, the club's 2012 Youth of the Year.

"Everyone gets a nutritious breakfast and lunch, while those in the after-school program are treated to a nutritious snack," Theirrien said. "The changes we've made and the great opportunities we've introduced in recent years have been made possible through the support of our 30 volunteer board members, who are business leaders in our community."

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