The Salesians Boys & Girls Club will host its annual fundraiser and awards ceremony on Thursday (tonight), June 12 at Suffolk Downs. Tickets are still on sale and the Salesians need the community’s help and support.
Fr. John Nazzaro, who grew up in Eastie and knows the neighborhood, has been running the Salesians Boys and Girls Club inside the former Savio Hall with tremendous success.
After Savio closed, the Boys and Girls Club officially moved its headquarters from the big brick building on Paris Street up to Orient Heights. It’s a new location and took some time getting used to but the results have been nothing short of amazing and Fr. Nazzaro’s settling nicely at the new spot.
“We were lucky we got 60 to 80 kids a day at Paris Street,” once said Fr. Nazzaro. “Now we’re getting 150 to over 200 children.”
The 150 to 200 children who show up daily do so primarily for the Boys and Girls Club’s after school program that costs local families a very modest $10 for the entire year.
“The program serves children ages 6 to 19 from 2:30 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday,” explained Fr. Nazzaro. “We offer computers, after school help, homework help, sports, art and crafts and provide snacks every day at 5:15 p.m.”
Fr. Nazzaro and the board, which includes State Representative Carlo Basile, a former member of the Boys and Girls Club, are hoping to raise enough money Thursday to help support the programs on Byron Street.
“The Boys and Girls Club has always done good work in the community,” said Basile. “After my father passed away, my mother was able to send my brothers and I to the club and know we were safe. It allowed her to go to work and pay next to nothing for an after school program. In many ways it saved my life.”