ESPN announced today its pledge of a lead contribution of $1 million toward construction of a new Boys and Girls Club and Family Center, in addition to its $400,000 gift in 2009 for land acquisition. The announcement was made by ESPN Executive Chairman George Bodenheimer in commemoration of ESPN’s upcoming 33rd anniversary (Sept. 7).
The proposed 38,000-square foot facility will house expansion of education and technology programs, a vibrant Teen Center, an enhanced Arts and Crafts Center, and will host a variety of athletic events in its 14,000-square foot field house for children in Bristol and across Connecticut. In addition, the Club plans to offer services for adults and seniors in the community. It will replace an 85-year old building that no longer has the space or the resources to meet the growing and changing needs of children. The new building will offer programs for people of all ages and will be a focal point for a variety of activities in downtown Bristol.
Michael Suchopar, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club and Family Center, said, “ESPN’s generous gift will help the Club create a dynamic space for Bristol children and their families. It will enable our organization to enhance the tone, culture and spirit of our community, while providing children with the proper tools to achieve their dreams. ESPN’s support will allow us to improve the lives of countless children from diverse backgrounds for many generations to come. We sincerely thank ESPN and admire their devotion to creating opportunities in their community.”
Bodenheimer added, “The Boys and Girls Club and Family Center is a jewel in the fabric of our community and we are pleased to continue supporting its mission. We are truly investing in the future of our youth and our home city.”
Bodenheimer is an honorary chairman of the Boys and Girls Club and Family Center’s Capital Campaign and is an alumnus of a Boys and Girls Club.
ESPN’s commitment to the Boys and Girls Club and Family Center organization spans more than 30 years of support, including the Imagine Nation Museum, the outreach program at Cambridge Park, the school-based programs, preschool programs and a playground construction project at Brackett Park. In addition, ESPN employees regularly volunteer at the Club’s sites through the company’s corporate outreach initiative called Team ESPN.