Boys & Girls Club Walkathon to Support Youth Scholarships
(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – The City of Pittsfield is proud to support the Boys & Girls Club of the Berkshires’ walkathon fundraiser, “Taking Steps for Our Youth,” on Sunday, Oct. 18, an initiative which will help to increase youth access to program opportunities at the club.
The walkathon will begin 11 a.m. at the club located at 16 Melville St. and follow along the walking loop on North Street in downtown. It is scheduled to end at 1 p.m.
Preregistration is $20 and forms are available at the club; $25 registration the day of the walk. Walkers will receive a T-shirt and music will be provided by deejay Young Champ. Beverages and snacks also will be provided at the finish line.
Funds raised will directly support youth scholarships for a host of club programs ranging from a deejay and recording workshop, painting, drawing, and sewing classes, as well as theater, basketball, swimming and hockey.
"The Boys & Girls Club has always played an important role in the development of so many youth in our city and throughout Berkshire County. Through its many programs, the club has offered young people a creative, fun, and safe outlet to express themselves and engage with one another,” said Mayor Daniel Bianchi. “We are more than happy to support initiatives that serve to remove barriers and increase participation among our young people.”
The fundraiser is the brainchild of Dan Joslyn, who assumed the position of mentoring and basketball director at the club five months ago. In his role, Joslyn has said he’s observed the challenges that come about with signing up for programs. “I’ve had firsthand experience with kids who didn’t have money for programs. I want that to change,” said Joslyn, who graduated from Springfield College with a degree in Youth Development. “I don’t want them to feel embarrassed; I want them to be able to stay at the club.”
Associate Director Tina Wixsom, who’s worked at the club for years in various roles, seconds Joslyn’s observations. “There’s so much unleashed talent out there. These kids just want an opportunity to try something new and realize their potential,” she said.
Noting the negative distractions that can sometimes take youth off course, Wixsom said she wants the club to continue to be a place where they can always turn to. “If we can be a positive element along the way, then maybe we can help remove them from the streets.”