A 501(C)(3) charity.
Tax I.D. 95-3766860
Boys and Girls Club of the Hi-Desert
56525 Little League Drive
Yucca Valley, CA 92284
Boys and Girls Club of the Hi-Desert
P.O. Box 402
Yucca Valley, CA 92284
The Boys & Girls Club of the Hi Desert Story…….
In the late summer months of 1977. F. Roy Greenleaf Jr. and his wife Beverlie moved to Yucca Valley from Orange County. Roy was a quiet, unassuming gentleman but was a man of many accomplishments. He was a man of vision with a self styled ability to observe the needs of a community and to organize leaders for the purpose to meet those needs. One of the first needs he saw and met was the “Bank of Yucca Valley”, now the Pacific Western Bank.
Roy noticed as he went about his daily activities that many of the town’s young people were congregating in small groups and seemed bored with life. After discussing this with some young people he found there was not much for them to do, other than some sports programs and scout programs. He also found that there was a new era, the use of recreational drugs, mostly marijuana use at that time. So, in 1980 Roy approached school officials and discussed his findings and they also agreed the situation needed attention.
Roy had been a Rotarian for most of his business years in Santa Ana and there they had a very successful youth center they supported so Roy knew that they could be successful in deterring social problems among our youth. Roy joined the Yucca Valley Noon Rotary club in 1981 and the club was searching for a community project. Roy explained his findings about the local youth, the school officials meetings and suggested Rotary undertake a project to determine the need for a local Youth Center. The club agreed and began the project.
A committee performed a feasibility study, talking to young people in the community, using questionnaires at the local schools. The response was a very positive so the club decided to move on with the study. An interim board of directors was formed with Rotarians, and the Lions Club of Yucca Valley. They contacted youth centers in the Coachella Valley which provided valuable contacts and information and they found that all these young centers were chartered by The Boys Clubs of America.
This national organization, with member clubs throughout the nation were of high standards and the board of directors agreed these standards would provide the guidelines needed to establish and maintain the youth center this community deserves and demands.
In March of 1982 leading citizens of the community were invited to meet with the interim board and this led to the structure of the initial board of directors, who were elected and installed the first officers of the club in April, 1982.
The board structured and adopted the Constitution, the By Laws and established the Mission and purpose of the Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Desert. The structure was completed with the incorporation in August, 1982 and recognition by the State of California and the Internal Revenue Service as a Charitable, Non-Profit Entity; in January of 1983.
The board of directors then hired Al Mackin as the cub’s first Executive Director on February 16, 1983. The Club’s doors opened for business on March 1, 1983. The club held its grand opening ceremonies on April 7, 1983 and was recognized by many of our citizenry, along with keynote speaker Floyd Tidwell, the Sheriff of San Bernardino County. The club’s flag and flagpole were donated by American Legion Post 469 and presented by the US Marine Color Guard from 29 Palms Marine Base.
The club applied for a Boys Club of America Charter and it was granted in September, 1983 and presented formally at our first annual dinner in January, 1984. In the fall of 1983 the club became a member of the Morongo Basin United Way. In the summer of 1984 Executive Director Al Mackin resigned to form a new kids club and our next Executive Director hired was a young man named Rob Parker coming to us with experience as Executive Director of the Boys Club of Burleson, Texas.
The Club swiftly outgrew its original location on Yucca Trail and Deer Trl/ Pioneertown Road so fund raisers for a larger facility began with radiothons, golf tournaments and other events. The club began a construction of their own new facility on a 2 ½ acre parcel next to Tri-Valley Little League Park on Little League Drive in Yucca Valley. The land was purchased with funds donated by Hi Desert Memorial Hospital, Inc and their Elsinore Machris Fund that it administers. The new facility was scheduled to be in use by early 1988. Club is still at that location today, in it’s approximately 10,000 SF gym and building.
The club has membership open to all youth in the Morongo Basin. The club originally allowed kids from 7 to 17 and now has kids from 5 to 18 from Kindergarten through 12th Grade. The club is open to all, regardless of race, creed, religion, or economic status and still only for pennies a day. The club continues to rely on community parterships to asssit us with fund raisers, donations, volunteers and friends who help us keep the dream alive.
The club could not possibly thank and name every person who has served on our Board, or as a volunteer, project supporter, financial supporters, event attendee and staff who have dedicated themselves to carry on the mission of the original vision of Roy Greenleaf. The club was created and perpetuated by our Hi Desert community and stands as a monument to those who are dedicated to a purpose and the unselfish will to serve others. For those visionaries on the school board, Rotary, Lions, Sheriff’s Department and other volunteers and donors, we are proud to say we are still serving today’s youth in the tradition you began.
This story was made possible by a member or our founding board of directors, Mr. Roger Duran who provided the history of the club for this story.
Board of Directors