Citi Teen Center coming to Springfield; leaders say it could reduce violence

Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida Club members talk about their favorite features of the new Citi Teen Center.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida Club members talk about their favorite features of the new Citi Teen Center.

JACKSONVILLE, FL / January 07, 2019 - Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida is reopening its historic founding Club, the Laurence F. Lee Boys & Girls Club, as the Citi Teen Center. The Laurence F. Lee Boys & Girls Club was founded in April 1966 by Laurence F. Lee Jr., the son of Boys’ Club of Jacksonville founding board member, Laurence F. Lee.

The Citi Teen Center will be Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida’s first standalone teen center and will offer teens from across Jacksonville access to a mixed reality enabled computer lab, technology programing, barber shop, beauty salon, dance studio, gym, movie theater, print shop and bicycle shop.

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Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida President and CEO, Paul Martinez, gives Boys & Girls Club members a tour of the Citi Teen Center currently under construction.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida President and CEO, Paul Martinez, gives Boys & Girls Club members a tour of the Citi Teen Center currently under construction.

Jalen Ramsey Gives Away 50 Bicycles to Hyde Grove Boys & Girls Club Members

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Jalen Ramsey, Jacksonville Jaguar corner back, shared holiday cheer with 50 Hyde Grove Early Learning Boys & Girls Clubs members on Monday afternoon, gifting each of the 50 children with a bicycle and a personally signed football at Southside’s Academy Sports + Outdoors.

Hyde Grove Early Learning’s principle and staff showed their full support, helping the children stay safe as they awaited their turn to meet Jalen and receive their autographed football. After the students talked with Jalen about what they wanted for Christmas, the students were greeted by Jacksonville ROAR members to receive their new bicycles.

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Jaguars' AJ Bouye Takes 50 Kids on Holiday Shopping Spree

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jaguars' A.J. Bouye, joined by some of his teammates, took 50 children from the Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Florida on a holiday shopping spree Monday night. 

The All-Pro and Pro Bowl cornerback hosted the Shop with a Jock event at the Walmart on Philips Highway in Jacksonville.

"I'm looking forward to it, especially since last year was a success," Bouye told News4Jax. "This is something that's very fun for me. You know, I have a daughter myself and just to have these kids around -- just make this night about them."

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Chimes Installed at City Park Commemorates St. Augustine's Role in Civil Rights

On the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s death Wednesday, city leaders, community organizers, school children and residents celebrated the completion of a decade-long project designed to bring meaning to the Dr. Robert F. Hayling Freedom Park.

The green space set on a bluff overlooking the San Sebastian and Matanzas rivers was dedicated last year in honor of one of St. Augustine’s own leaders in the civil rights movement. Hayling, through his activism, was instrumental in bringing King to the city in 1964 — a visit many consider pivotal in pushing forward legislation that led to desegregation.

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Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida to Revamp Springfield Building Into 'Coolest Place Tor Teens'

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida want to breathe some life into the old languishing Laurence F. Lee club building in Springfield.

The facility at the corner of Liberty and 10th served the community for 50 years. But it has been vacant since the summer of 2015 after the recession and rising maintenance costs took their toll on the building, according to the Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Committee.

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Students, Teachers Build Arlington School Playground

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Teachers, students and community volunteers are taking time out of their spring break to build a playground for a local school in Arlington.

More than 100 volunteers got to work Friday at Arlington Community Academy setting up picnic tables, benches and an outdoor classroom. Students and parents were involved with picking the equipment for the playground that will be shared with the Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Florida.

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Project SOS Surpasses $200,000 Fundraising Goal at Annual Grand Anchor Gala

Project SOS, now a Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida program, surpassed its $200,000 fundraising goal at the New Orleans-themed Grand Anchor Gala held at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club on Saturday, Feb. 24.

The annual fundraiser celebrated 25 years of serving First Coast teens and raised money for Project SOS programs and new Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida facilities designed to assist the community. The two organizations merged in the summer of 2017.

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THE PLAYERS Championship Donates Vans to Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida

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THE PLAYERS served as the presenting sponsor for the MOSAIC Group's Training U: Sports and Business Education Forum Feb. 16 at TPC Sawgrass – the event saw over 150 local area high school students in lower socioeconomic situations learn about job opportunities in the sports industry...

Additionally, THE PLAYERS' Executive Director Jared Rice announced the donation of three new vans to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida. Students and their teachers then posed for a photo in front of the TPC Sawgrass clubhouse building to conclude the event.

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BGCNF Hosts High Five Winter Games For 350 Youth

When school is out, our Clubs are IN!! Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida celebrated President's Day on February 19 with The High Five Winter Games field day. About 350 kids and teens from our area Clubs all came together for a full day of fun, games, sports, food, dance, and so much more! Thanks to all of our incredible staff and volunteers who helped bring smiles to so many faces.

Grand Anchor Gala to Celebrate 25 Years of Serving Local Teens

Pam Mullarkey Robbins, Ben Wuerffel, Nicole Ferreira with Jack, Paul Price and Kimberly Deas gather at the 2017 Grand Anchor Gala.

Pam Mullarkey Robbins, Ben Wuerffel, Nicole Ferreira with Jack, Paul Price and Kimberly Deas gather at the 2017 Grand Anchor Gala.

The annual Grand Anchor Gala benefitting Project SOS is set for Saturday, Feb. 24 from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, where event attendees will celebrate 25 years of the nonprofit organization’s efforts in serving First Coast teens.

“It’s going to be a wonderful, high energy, fun party,” said Pam Mullarkey Robbins, founder and CEO of Project SOS, who is retiring at the end of June. “We’re celebrating the great things the kids have done, the great decisions they’ve made.”

Robbins founded Project SOS 25 years ago when she felt compelled to help teenagers with goal setting, decision making, boundaries, bullying, avoiding drugs/alcohol and more. Since its inception, the organization has impacted the lives of 475,000 local teenagers across Northeast Florida through its in-school programming that focuses on healthy and unhealthy relationship skills, substance abuse, refusal skills for sexual risk avoidance, depression and suicide, social media and more.

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Project SOS Gala & Partnership With Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida

Pam Mullarkey Robbins, founder and CEO of Project SOS, and Kevin Carrico, Vice President of Operations for Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida, announce the upcoming Project SOS Grand Anchor Gala on Feb. 24. Proceeds from the event help fund the ongoing efforts of this combined organization as Boys & Girls Clubs utilizes Project SOS programming to influence and impact local teens. Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida is also building new teen centers in Springfield and Arlington, expected to open fall of 2018 and fall of 2019 respectively.

Boys & Girls Clubs Youth Football Coaches on Free Trip to Super Bowl

Two area youth football coaches are boarding a plane for a free trip to Minnesota for the Super Bowl.

Just before the start of the playoff game between the Buffalo Bills and Jaguars, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell presented coaches Rickie Simon Jr. and Tim Terry with tickets to the Super Bowl.

This gift is a thank you for the men work hard to be a positive influence for local kids. Simon and Terry make a difference in the lives of children every day with the Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Florida.

When they were led onto the field that day, Simon thought they might get something like a T-shirt. They never thought they would be given the gift of going to the Super Bowl. So they are layering up to prepare for the cold Minnesota temperatures.

The surprise was nothing short of incredible. Two life-size tickets now decorate Simon's office.

MOD Pizza Celebrates First Location in Jacksonville

Terry Frank, Director of Marketing and Strategic Projects for BBX Capital; Angie Kenyon, Vice President of Real Estate Retail Brands for BBX Capital; Brick Kerge, Vice President of Operations for MOD Pizza Florida; Paul Martinez, President/CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Florida; Jason Gilmartin, General Manager MOD Pizza Jacksonville; Kirk Wendland, Jacksonville Director of Economic Development and Lois Marino, Director of Community Engagement for MOD Pizza Florida. PHOTO BY DUSTIN HEGEDUS

Terry Frank, Director of Marketing and Strategic Projects for BBX Capital; Angie Kenyon, Vice President of Real Estate Retail Brands for BBX Capital; Brick Kerge, Vice President of Operations for MOD Pizza Florida; Paul Martinez, President/CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Florida; Jason Gilmartin, General Manager MOD Pizza Jacksonville; Kirk Wendland, Jacksonville Director of Economic Development and Lois Marino, Director of Community Engagement for MOD Pizza Florida.
PHOTO BY DUSTIN HEGEDUS

MOD Pizza celebrated its first location in Jacksonville with a grand opening event Dec. 19.

100 percent of all pizza sales on opening day were donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Northeast Florida. The first 52 attendees were treated to one free artisan-style pizza.

MOD serves individual, artisan-style pizzas that are made on-demand in minutes using fresh-pressed dough and signature sauces. Customers can create their own pizzas and salads, using any combination of over 30 featured toppings, or they can choose from a menu of MOD classics for a fixed price of $8.17. The restaurant is located at 12547 Bartram Park Blvd in Suite 201.

79 First Coast Kids Surprised With New Bikes For Christmas

79 First Coast children will have a brighter Christmas thanks to the kindness of others.

Parents and their children streamed into the WJCT studios Monday evening as The Harvey Bernhardt Foundation celebrated its seasonal tradition of Random Acts of Kindness.

The foundation, along with The Boys & Girls Clubs and Big Brothers, Big Sisters had quite the surprise waiting for the kids: brand new bikes for each of them from Academy Sports.

Foundation Chairman Westley Bernhardt said donors – many of them anonymous – made it all possible.

Jaguars' Jalen Ramsey Provides Thanksgiving Meals or Families in Need

November 2017 - In the spirit of the holiday season, Jalen Ramsey, of the Jacksonville Jaguars, provided Thanksgiving dinner for 20 families in need at the Boys & Girls Club of Northeast Florida located in Springfield. Each family received a box filled with ingredients to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

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Jacksonville Jaguar Cornerback, Jalen Ramsey snaps a picture with a local Springfield family who he gave a Thanksgiving day meal.

Jacksonville Jaguar Cornerback, Jalen Ramsey snaps a picture with a local Springfield family who he gave a Thanksgiving day meal.

First Coast Connect: JU Partners With Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida

Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida is partnering with Jacksonville University on a new 20,000-square-foot, $2.5 million facility near the school’s campus.

It’s a collaboration to help strengthen JU’s partnerships in the Arlington community. The university will lease the four-acre parcel across University Boulevard near Milne football field.      

The Boys & Girls Club is expected to use about three acres of the land and eventually be able to serve about 100 teens on the campus.

Click below to listen to the interview with JU President Tim Cost and Boys & Girls Clubs President/CEO Paul Martinez

Artist rendering of JU Boys & Girls Clubs Teen Center in Arlington.

Artist rendering of JU Boys & Girls Clubs Teen Center in Arlington.

JU Offers Land, Helping Hands to Launch New Boys & Girls Club Teen Center

December 2017 - The latest component of a long term Jacksonville University plan to help revitalize its Arlington neighborhood focuses on a four-acre piece of JU-owned land now occupied by only trees and litter.

But JU has leased most of the property to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida for a $2.5 million teen club, which will also function as a laboratory of sorts for various JU academic programs and as a community meeting place.

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Artist render of JU Boys & Girls Clubs Teen Center.

Artist render of JU Boys & Girls Clubs Teen Center.

Tebow, Other College Stars Roll up Sleeves For The Bridge Boys & Girls Club

October 2017 -  The “cafetorium,” a multi-purpose meeting space in the Bridges Boys and Girls Club, got a facelift Friday afternoon, as more than 40 volunteers drilled, taped and painted the room.

But one local painter stole the show. When Tim Tebow surprised the crowd, paint brushes stopped rolling, drills were dropped and conversation stopped.

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Alec Ogletree and Tim Tebow talk in The Bridge Boys & Girls Club’s hallway.

Alec Ogletree and Tim Tebow talk in The Bridge Boys & Girls Club’s hallway.