December 15, 2017, marked a long-anticipated day for the Boys & Girls Club of Bartlesville with the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the new state-of-the-art C.J. “Pete” Silas Boys & Girls Club.
Ribbon-cutting ceremonies took place at 11:30 a.m. at the new Boys & Girls Club and youth development park. Club kids and family of the late C.J. “Pete” Silas cut the ribbon on the new Club. Todd Lamb, Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma, and Jim Clark, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America were honored guests at the event.
The new facility is named in honor of C.J. “Pete” Silas, the late Phillips Petroleum Company CEO and community leader. Silas served as chairman of the board of Boys & Girls Clubs of America from 1992 to 1994, during a twenty-year tenure on the national board. He was a member of the Boys & Girls Club Hall of Fame and was the first Club alumnus to serve as national chairman. Silas, who passed away in December 2014, worked closely with Bartlesville Club leaders in his final years to revitalize its programs, grow its membership and plan for this new facility.
The $7 million project includes a 30,000 square foot building, outdoor basketball courts and artificial turf multipurpose playing field. Capital campaign leaders began raising funds for the new facility in 2014, with the goal of serving more kids, more often, and with greater impact. Over the past five years club membership has grown from several hundred to over 1,000 area youth.
“We are thankful for the commitment of the Boys & Girls Club board, staff, and members of the campaign cabinet and the generosity of the donors that have made this new facility possible,” said Chief Executive Officer Jason Barta. “With the continuous support we’ve received we hope to serve more kids, more often, with a more significant impact.”
Following the ribbon cutting donors and community leaders toured the new Club that includes: a dedicated Teen Center, learning centers, gymnasium, technology and STEM lab, arts and music spaces and an expanded kitchen to better accommodate the nutrition program. The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation partnered with the Club to construct the playing field.
The annual “Great Futures” Luncheon was held in the new gymnasium, thanks to presenting sponsor Doenges Family of Autos, other companies and individuals. Speakers included: Lt. Governor Lamb, Jim Clark, and Bartlesville club member Kismet Okeyere, Oklahoma’s Boys & Girls Club 2017 Youth of the Year.
The Boys & Girls Club of Bartlesville provides a safe and stable place for our community’s youth to build confidence and discover their talents. The Boys & Girls Club’s vision is that each child who comes through their doors leaves the Club a productive, engaged citizen, involved in the community. With a larger facility, the Boys & Girls Club of Bartlesville will be able to serve more local youth and with a more significant impact.