Redlands Boys & Girls Club celebrates kids, kicks off 50th anniversary

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kids_kidLaughter carried throughout Clay Street in Redlands Saturday as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Redlands-Riverside hosted a ‘Day for Kids’ block party at its Hansberger Clubhouse.

The celebration, which doubled as a kickoff to the Boys & Girls Clubs 50th anniversary, offered up games, activities and plenty of giveaways in honor of the Clubs’ and the community’s most cherished VIP’s — children of all ages.

“One of the greatest things about the Boys & Girls Club being around for 50 years is that it means we’re serving more kids in more communities,” said Mark Davis, Club vice president. “And what better way to celebrate those children that walk through these doors.”

“It’s all about the kids,” said Club CEO P.T. McEwen.

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“What started here in Redlands has now expanded to 10 other communities in the Inland Empire… because of our mission, being true to it and to the kids, it’s helped us carry on for 50 years and it’s what will carry us on for 50 more.”

Festivities at the block party included live music, burgers and hot dogs cooked up by The Kiwanis Club Of Redlands, one item meals provided by Panda Express, games, crafts, basketball and rock climbing. More than 400 youth attended, plus their family members.

Youngsters received a goodie bag that included a limited-edition 50th anniversary coloring book.

The Kiwanis Club of Redlands distributed free books donated through Barnes & Noble’s holiday book fair, Home Depot employees helped kids make toolboxes, and optometrist Dr. Darlene Matejka provided free eye screenings for youth through the Sight for Students program, which serves low-income, uninsured children.

All activities were open to the public and offered at no cost.

The Club is tentatively planning an anniversary gala in spring.

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