A group photo of Boys and Girls Club of San Antonio members. Photo courtesy of the Boys and Girls Club of San Antonio.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the city’s seventh Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio clubhouse, the Mays Family Clubhouse, is set for Wednesday on the city’s near-Westside. The $4.8 million learning and recreation center for disadvantaged youth will serve 650 boys and girls at 829 Nogalitos St. in the Lonestar neighborhood.

San Antonio Spurs Head Coach Greg Popovich and Harvey Najim, namesake of the Najim Family Foundation, will co-host the event. The new branch is part of a larger $10.9 million capital campaign titled, “Invest in a Child. Build a Great Future.” With the latest gifts, the Boys & Girls Club is now within $600,000 of achieving its goal by year’s end.

The Mays Family Foundation, which will be represented at the groundbreaking by Foundation CEO Kathy Mays Johnson, contributed $2 million to the campaign. The Najim Family Foundation and Valero Energy Corp. each contributed $1 million to the capital campaign. The Kronkosky Foundation has committed to a matching gift up to $250,000. The City of San Antonio contributed $1.8 million from its 2012 bond program.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio serves more than 9,900 youth between the ages of 6-18 for a $50 annual membership fee. It operates out of six branch locations and one housing project unit, and 46 campuses in three inner city public school districts. The clubs give disadvantaged youth a safe place to gather, learn, recreate and develop positive relationships with mentoring adults, helping them develop character and a belief in their own potential. The organization’s mission statement: “To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.”

The $10.9 million capital campaign includes the new branch and funds for three other clubhouses in San Antonio. The new branch will be 21,000 sq. ft. and include a learning center, art studio, teaching kitchen, multimedia centers, teen center, gymnasium and game room, will serve 650 San Antonio youth.

“Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio makes such a dramatic difference in the lives of our city’s youth,” said Councilmember Shirley Gonzales (D5). “The Lone Star Neighborhood is thrilled to celebrate this new state of the art clubhouse. Few organizations achieve these transformational results. I am grateful to the San Antonio voters who supported this 2012 Bond project with funds to build this facility. San Antonio is a city with a big heart; we owe our sincere gratitude to individuals like Harvey Najim, Coach Popovich, and the Mays family for their continued financial and moral support.”

The Mays Family Clubhouses reflect the commitment by the Mays Family Foundation to local community and education. Lowry Mays, a Texas A&M University and Harvard alum, got his start in petroleum engineering, and with friend and business partner  B.J. “Red” McComb,s co-founded Clear Channel Communications in the 1970s. Mays and his wife, Peggy, established the family foundation with other family members in 2004. Combined with the Clear Channel Foundation, the family has contributed more than $55 million to a wide variety of local and state nonprofits and institutions.

Najim, a former IBM executive, started his own computer services company in 1980 and renamed it Sirius Computer Solutions in 1993. In 2006, he established the family foundation with a $75 million gift and since has added millions more.

“The primary goal of our foundation is to support children’s charities in San Antonio so that youth in our community are well-educated and lead healthier lives,” said Harvey E. Najim. “Few organizations achieve those goals as well as Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio. Their record is outstanding and I’m proud to join Coach Gregg Popovich as Honorary Co-Chairs of their first capital campaign to help them serve more children in San Antonio and move the organization to the next level.”

The Boys & Girls Club of San Antonio will host the groundbreaking event Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the new clubhouse site on Nogalitos Street. Angie Mock, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio, and Luis de la Torre, board chairman, also will speak.

“We are thrilled to expand our reach in the San Antonio community so even more youth can benefit from our resources,” said Angie Mock, Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio CEO. “They say it takes a village, and the Mays Family Clubhouse is a prime example of what an entire community can come together to create with the purpose of giving our youth a place to focus on achieving academic success and building strong character. This is an investment in the youth of today to ensure our community will thrive for many years to come.”

*Top image: A group photo of Boys and Girls Club of San Antonio members. Photo courtesy of the Boys and Girls Club of San Antonio. 

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Former Rivard Report Assistant Editor Joan Vinson is a San Antonio native who graduated from The University of Texas with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She's a yoga fanatic and an adventurer at heart....