For over 60 years, The Salah M. Hassanein Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens (VBGCQ) has been an anchor in the Astoria/Long Island City community, offering children a safe haven to learn, play, and grow into tomorrow's leaders. Since opening its doors, VBGCQ has upheld a strong tradition of community leadership to make a difference in the lives of young people.
Created in 1955, the Club was established by a concerned group of citizens in Astoria and Long Island City who banded together in response to rising gang violence in their neighborhood. The founding committee included George Skouras, Salah M. Hassanein, Judge Charles Vallone, and Ann Buehler, who partnered with community leaders to foster a safe and supportive alternative to the streets. While the Club has evolved over time to meet the changing needs of our community, its central purpose remains the same. The Club continues to uphold our founding mission: to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
THE CLUB TODAY
The Club’s 30,000 square foot facility is open to the community 7-days a week and includes an indoor swimming pool, makerspace lab, computer room, teaching kitchen, gym, auditorium, art studio, dance studio, film studio, and outdoor playground. We specialize in providing children of all ages with the highest quality programming and pride ourselves in being the largest youth development organization in Western Queens, serving over 4,000 young people each year.
Each and everyday, we manifest our mission through the Club's core program areas: Academic Enhancement, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), Healthy Living and the Arts. Our comprehensive range of programs are offered to all children (ages 6-18) including homework help, swimming and sports, coding, engineering, gourmet cooking, drama, dance, media production and so much more.
ENVISIONING OUR FUTURE
The Club has an exciting future in store! We are planning to build a new state-of-the-art Club that will provide us with the resources to further develop our programming, serve even more children and strengthen partnerships with local schools.
We are looking forward to the next chapter in our story, enabling the Club to evolve and better serve the Queens community we have been a part of for over 60 years.