A huge congratulations is in order for the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens Youth of the Year - Christopher Samuel! Chris is 18 years old and has been a part of the Variety Boys & Girls Club for the last decade. Over these last ten years, we've seen him develop into a young man who navigates through the many obstacles young men of color so often face through listening, communicating and leading. Chris has credited our organization's mentorship program "Passport-to-Manhood" as a factor that contributed to his immense growth over the years. After realizing that the program began to garner less attention at the Club, he took initiative and provided his passion and insight to help revamp the program, which is now called "BroCode." Chris also dedicates his time to tutor youth and teach them about living a healthy and active lifestyle. Aside from his involvement at the Club, Chris is also a part of his class' Student Government, a member of the Honors Society, and a leader in his Class Council. Chris hopes to have a career in the field of Public Services.
The Young Professionals Committee (YPC) at Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens has grown! In recent months, the YPC has added four new members to the Committee:
Andrea Bischof | Vice President, Institutional Equity Sales - China International Capital Corporation
Katherine Cote | Associate Director - UBS Investment Bank
Russell McAleavey | Vice President, Assistant General Counsel - J.P. Morgan Asset Management
John Reinhardt | Associate - Sam Schwartz Consulting
The YPC supports VBGCQ philanthropically through fundraising events and by creating connections to potential corporate partners. YPC members also support programming at the Club by teaching engineering classes, hosting Career Day events, and more!
VBGCQ is excited to welcome Andrea, Katherine, Russell, and John to the YPC!
On Saturday May 4th, Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens hosted our Second Annual 3V3 Basketball Tournament with Edward Jones as the Title Sponsor. The event raised more than $7,000 to support the after-school, summer camp, weekend workshops, and sports teams at the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens!
Thank you to all of the players and fans who came out to Queens on Saturday morning! And congratulations to the team from Edward Jones who took home first place in our double-elimination bracket!
VBGCQ and Titan Theatre Company are excited to announce a new, expanded partnership! Designed to address the growing need for affordable rehearsal and performance space in Queens, our original partnership has blossomed into a massive education and outreach initiative! “A partnership such as this, with an incredible organization like the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens, isn’t only an opportunity to help and support the wonderful theatre community here in our home borough, but is also a way to provide even more arts education and outreach programming to the community that continues to support us and our work in such an amazing way” said Titan Artistic Director Lenny Banovez. We at the Club looking forward to providing more opportunities to our beloved Queens communities, starting with a Shakespeare performance for our after school kids on Wednesday, May 15th!
Sincerest thanks to Amazon employees for spending an afternoon mentoring our Club’s middle school children. From getting an inside look at the office and spending quality time with software engineers, advertisers and managers, our students were able to ask their wildest questions and receive expert advice on their future path.
Employees of CreditSights spent the afternoon in LEVEL 12’s Ultimate Bike Build Team Building Program all to surprise Club kids with brand new bikes! The students loved test driving their new wheels and zoomed around the office trying them out!
Thank you LEVEL 12 for the brand new bikes, helmets and safety locks!
On Friday, December 21st, the Club was thrilled to present our Annual Holiday Celebration in the Broccoli Theatre. Surrounded by an audience of friends and family members, students performed adaptations of Ugly Duckling, Where the Wild Things Are and their original play, Who Kidnapped Santa. The Media Club debuted their film, A Christmas Wish and the Dance Group revamped the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” incorporating ballet and dub step. In the back of theatre, the Cooking Club hosted a bake sale with cookies, brownies and cakes that received rave reviews by all! Lastly, the students participated in the Variety Idol Competition where each grade sang Christmas carols and the audience voted on the winner. This year, we are thrilled to share that the 5th Graders were the official winners of the competition! The show closed with remarks from Council Member Costa Constantinides and a giant bow from all the children.
After the performance, staff members handed out personalized gifts to over 150 children. Our sincerest thanks to Marshalls, ADP, Steve Madden & Microsoft employees who donated the gifts and to the group of ADP employees who volunteered their time wrapping gifts, making holiday cards with the students and playing a game of basketball.
The Club is proud of all we have been able to accomplish this year thanks to the support of our incredible community. We are wishing you all Happy Holidays and an amazing New Year!
THANK YOU HOLIDAY SPONSORS!
Many thanks to everyone who came out to root for their favorite team at our annual 3v3 Corporate Challenge! The event raised more than $8,500 for Club programs that serve over 4,000 children each year.
This year, over 10 teams competed for the championship with Heroes pulling through as the tournament winner and NY Mets as the 2nd runner-up! Thanks to Lime, Super Soccer Stars, Red Rabbit, Edward Jones, Chip NYC & NY Life for playing their all and assembling your best talent! The event included free cookies from ChipNYC, scooter and bike demos from Lime, and a silent auction with prizes generously donated by JetBlue and Aloft Hotels.
Special thanks to former Jets Fullback, Tony Richardson for playing in the tournament and to our event sponsors NY Mets Foundation, Pharmapacks, Super Soccer Stars, Lime and Phenom. The 3v3 was presented by the Young Professionals Council, a group of change makers dedicated to building bright futures for children in Queens.
Halloween at the Club was full of sweets and spooky adventure! With the artistic flair of volunteers from Ophelia Theatre Group, we created an unforgettable haunted house as part of our Halloween celebration. Take a look at our collection of photos to see creative costumes and all of our Halloween fun!
A resounding thanks to the 20 volunteers from JPMorgan Chase & Company for supporting the academic achievement of our students and promoting STEM exposure! We appreciate the time, energy and effort you devoted to the Club.
During the service day, each student was paired with a volunteer to complete homework after which, the groups explored cooking, hydroponic planting, stop motion animation and the MaKey MaKey invention kit. Special thanks to Break A Difference, who made this incredible event possible!!
TJ Maxx visited the Club for for a very special afternoon of art and celebration! Volunteers joined us for Lights On After School, a day dedicated to recognizing after school programs nationwide. With the help of TJ Maxx volunteers, Club participants used teamwork and creativity to show off their after school pride! Each volunteer led a team of students in decorating paper light bulbs that were strung around the Broccoli Theatre. Thank you TJ Maxx for supporting the Club and making this year’s Lights On After School a tremendous success!
The Club had an an action-packed afternoon thanks to a visit from IMPACT Wrestling!
Professional wrestlers, Johnny IMPACT, Taya Valkyrie & Ortiz spent the afternoon in gym class answering the kids most burning questions and playing a round of kickball. We finished the afternoon with autographs and photo-ops! IMPACT also provided 100 complimentary tickets so that families could attend a taping at Melrose Ballroom. Two kids from the Club got the exciting opportunity to be the ring announcer and bell ringer for the night.
The Club kicked off the school year with our 1st Annual Back to School Boutique! Thanks to Raymour & Flanigan, the Disney Store and Hilton Garden Inn, we transformed the Broccoli Theatre into a boutique featuring new backpacks, pencils, rulers, crayons, notebooks and so much more. With the support of our partners, students and their families were able to pick out supplies and stock up for the year ahead. We wish all of our participants and their families a happy and successful school year!
Thank you to the NY Jets and our favorite #49, Tony Richardson, for hosting a day of football for our summer campers! From running drills to blocking exercises to catching punts, campers got the opportunity to learn directly from a professional and receive his expert tips and instruction. The Boys & Girls Club children had a fun-filled and action-packed afternoon playing on the field, showing off their new skills, snapping photos and getting autographs. Our campers can’t wait to practice their new skills at the Club!