Boys & Girls Club of Decatur, 859 N. Jasper St, Decatur, IL 62521
Phone: 217.422.9605. Fax: 217.422.9133
Bruce W. Jeffery, Executive Director


Founded in 1972 by a group of concerned citizens, businessmen, social workers, attorneys, ministers and law enforcement officials led by Mr. John L. Howie, founder of the Grigoleit Company, formed a steering committee which led to the organization of the Decatur Boys Club as a non-profit corporation. The Club sought to provide quality youth programs and exciting activities to boys between the ages of 7 to 17 by combining an efficient use of its facility with an active involvement with the families it serves and the local agencies with which it collaborates. Then and now, the Club has been responsive to the needs of the community through its mission to enhance the quality of life of youths of all background, with special concern for the disadvantage; and to develop the necessary qualities for such youth to become responsible citizens and leaders.

Mr. Charlie Jackson was elected as the Board of Directors first president in October 1973. After a years effort and many disappointments the board was able to identify a suitable facility at 863 E. Leafland and embarked on a $81,000 capital fund campaign to purchase and renovate the building.

On February 1, 1974 the first Executive Director, Richard Koehler, was hired. By June 26, 1974 building renovation was completed with the facility consisting of two offices, library, craft shop, games room and a 30 x 40 physical education room were open to boys.

The official dedication of the Club was held on September 8, 1974 with Decatur Mayor Jim Rupp cutting the ribbon and a year later in late 1975 a Girls Program was firmly established.

In 1975 the Club became a member agency of the United Way of Decatur and Macon County and received its first allocation in 1976.

In late 1979 the board launched another capital fund campaign to meet the need for more space and address the increasing need for club services. Through the generosity of many businesses and individuals the 1.3 million dollar campaign was a success and in the fall 1983 the club opened its newly constructed 15,000 square foot facility, located at 859 N. Jasper. Upon moving into its current facility with a total membership of approximately 320 boys and girls, club membership grew in excess of 1,000 members by 1985.

Our rich history and the prospects for a bright future will serve the Club well as a place of recreation and learning, while promoting the health, social, educational, and character development of boys and girls in Decatur/Macon County. Our past accomplishments and the outlook for the future would not have been possible without the support of the many individuals whom have and are serving as volunteers on the Club's board. in programs/activities; and the corporate, business and individual contributors. A special thank to the United Way of Decatur/Macon County, Mr. John L. Howie, Mr. Dwayne O. Andreas and Archer Daniels Midland, the late Margaret J. (Peggy) Dick and the late William Marshall.

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