Boys & Girls Clubs of King County

Imani Bender is Boys & Girls Clubs of King County's 
2014 Youth of the Year

Ballard youth personifies hard work, leadership, and the drive to succeed

imageYouth of the Year is Boys & Girls Clubs of King County's premiere youth recognition event. Presented by Microsoft, the event welcomed nearly 250 business leaders and youth advocates at the Washington Athletic Club on Tuesday, February 11th. Imani Bender, a member of the Ballard Club, walked away with the winning title and a $2,000 education scholarship.

Says Imani, "The Boys & Girls Club saw potential within me even when I didn't see it in myself...the Club gave me the power to take on a leadership role in my community, in my Club, and in my own life. Thus everything I am and everything I will ever be is rooted in the foundation that the Club gave me."

Imani will go on to compete in the Washington State Boys & Girls Clubs Youth of the Year competition on March 19th, in the hopes of advancing to the regional event and then the national competition. Bender, a 10-year member of the Ballard Club, is a natural leader, an honor student, a varsity basketball player, and president of Ballard's Keystone club. She aspires to major in psychology.

"I want to congratulate Imani Bender on being named King County's 2014 Youth of the Year. It was a difficult choice - the judges really wrestled with a tough decision because all 11 nominees are phenomenal teens. These are kids who are determined to succeed, and they have the full support of Club staff to help them along the way," said Calvin Lyons, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of King County.

In total, 11 exceptional teens competed for the title. Each nominee was judged on leadership qualities exhibited through service to the Club, community, and family; their respective essays; life goals; values and moral character; academic success; and poise and public speaking.

Youth of the Year 2014 was made possible by Presenting Sponsor, Microsoft. Event sponsors include: Princess Cruises, Washington Athletic Club, Macy's, Jim Mora Count on Me Family Foundation, and media sponsor, Dex.

A very special thanks to our distinguished judging panel: Connie Ballmer, Trustee, Ballmer Family Foundation; Jane Broom-Davidson, Director, Puget Sound Community Affairs at Microsoft; Ashley Rea, Director of Philanthropy at Aegis Living; Norm Seabrooks, Vice President, Local Market Head at Aetna; Jim Voelker, Youth Advocate; Patty Voelker, Youth Advocate; and Matt Walters, First Vice President at CBRE.

Hear more from Imani herself at this year's LunchBreak! on April 10, 2014. See you there!



BGCKC Reaches GuideStar Silver Level, Demonstrating Commitment to Donor Transparency

Boys & Girls Clubs of King County recently received the GuideStar Exchange Silver participation level, a leading symbol of transparency. GuideStar USA, Inc. is the premier source of nonprofit information.


This level demonstrates BGCKC’s deep commitment to nonprofit accountability.


"We have worked hard to showcase our progress toward our mission, and our long-held belief in being transparent about our work, to our constituents," said Peter Raffa, Chief Development Officer. "As a GuideStar Exchange participant, we use their platform to share a wealth of up-to-date information about our work with our supporters and with GuideStar's immense online audience of nonprofits, grantmakers, individual donors and the media."

The GuideStar Exchange is an initiative designed to connect nonprofits with current and potential supporters. With millions of people coming to GuideStar to learn more about nonprofit organizations, the Exchange allows nonprofits to share up-to-date information with many audiences. The GuideStar Exchange level logos, acknowledged as symbols of transparency in the nonprofit sector, are displayed on all Exchange participants' nonprofit reports. The program is free of charge to charitable organizations.

"I encourage you to check out our profile on GuideStar to see what we're all about," added Raffa. "We are engaged in exciting initiatives, and we are thrilled to have another platform for communicating our advancement and progress."

Other recent acknowledgments of BGCKC's transparency
come from Charity Navigator and the Better Business
Bureau (BBB). The organization received a 4-star
rating from Charity Navigator, America's largest and
most-utilized independent evaluator of charities.
Finally, BGCKC met all 20 of the BBB's Standards for
Charity Accountability.


Local Club Member Becomes National Money Matters Ambassador

Austin McHenry, 18, was recently selected as the national Money Matters Ambassador by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). The Charles Schwab Foundation and BGCA collaboratively developed Money Matters: Make It Count. This financial literacy program helps teens expand their knowledge of money management and learn skills leading to financial independence.

Austin began attending Boys & Girls Clubs of King County’s Renton/Skyway Branch when he was 8 years old. The Club was an important part of his life for the past 10 years and served as a place where he transformed beyond just a member to a leader, volunteer and role model.

Read More


Magazine Sales Again Falsely Attributed to BGCKC

Please be aware that Boys & Girls Clubs of King County does not solicit donations door to door using young people to sell magazines. It has come to our attention that some young men have approached homes in the Montlake and Madison Valley areas using our name in their sales pitch. They could be engaged in illegal activity. Please notify police if you are solicited in such a manner.


UPS Road Code Program

In an ongoing effort to combat the ever-growing issue of distracted driving, The UPS Foundation has partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) on UPS Road Code, a national program to teach safe driving techniques to teens. UPS Road Code is largely based on the same safety training used by UPS's own drivers, who are known for their safe driving techniques. In fact, UPS's 102,000 drivers worldwide log more than three billion miles per year with less than one accident per million miles driven. Taught by more than 150 UPS employees trained as volunteer instructors, UPS Road Code provides teens with four sessions of classroom-based instruction, as well as time behind the wheel of a virtual driving simulator.

The program focuses on different safety principles each week, from basic instruction to the consequences of risky behaviors such as talking on cell phones, texting or drinking while driving. Throughout the program, teens have a chance to practice what they've learned on the driving simulators, which feature a computer screen that serves as a windshield to the program's interactive animation, a steering wheel and life-like gas and brake pedals.

Boys & Girls Clubs of King County is proud to have been selected to receive a grant this year to implement UPS Road Code, bringing this critical life-saving initiative to teenagers at our Club and in our community. The program is currently offered to teen members at the Southwest Boys & Girls Club in White Center.


BGCKC Partners With Barnes & Noble on Bookfair to Benefit Kids

Book Signing by Local Author Earl Bell Kicks Off Event at Bellevue Store on July 17

Boys & Girls Clubs of King County will benefit from a Bookfair put on by Barnes & Noble stores throughout the county.

The fair begins on July 17. BGCKC will benefit from a contribution of an estimated 15% on the value of sales during that time for purchases made using their bookfair ID code (11134103). The code can be used at all Barnes & Noble stores as well as online at The in-store promotion ends on July 23, but the online opportunity extends through July 28.

At the Downtown Bellevue Barnes & Noble, the bookfair will kick off on Wednesday, July 17 at 5:30 p.m. with a book signing by Earl Bell, author of Winning in Baseball and Business. Also at the Bellevue store, shoppers will have the opportunity to buy and donate a book from a wish list to enrich the libraries available to the Clubs’ young members. The Bellevue store is located at 626 106th Ave NE in Bellevue.

“If you’re going to buy a book, Nook, CD, educational toy or even a chocolate bar, why not support Boys & Girls Clubs of King County at the same time?” said Nancy Nordquist, Community Relations Manager at the Barnes & Noble Downtown Bellevue.


Boys & Girls Clubs of King County Appoints
Dave Remer to Board of Directors Press Release



2013 Youth of the Year

On Tuesday, February 12, 11 King County teens competed at Boys & Girls Clubs of King County’s 2013 Youth of the Year Awards Luncheon. All the nominees are exceptional teens who are a reflection of our extraordinary staff and volunteers. Congratulations to the 2013 Youth of the Year, Delannah Collins-Wright from the Joel E. Smilow Clubhouse & Teen Center at Rainier Vista!

This well rounded scholar and student leader has been a member of the Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club for nearly five years. Delannah, 16, is a junior at Cleveland High School.

“I used to be a C student, but the Club staff knew I could do better,” says Delannah. “They connected me with a tutor. I am extremely excited to now consistently be on the honor roll. I credit both SRV and my family for keeping me on track.”

Each teen told his or her story before a panel of distinguished judges and a crowd of 250 people at the Washington Athletic Club. The honorees were chosen by their Clubs for their dedication to service, academic commitment, strength of character and life goals.

A special thanks to our sponsors! Microsoft was the presenting and annual sponsor of the event.  Additional sponsors were Princess Cruises, Washington Athletic Club, Macy’s Thanks for Sharing, the Jim Mora Count on Me Family Foundation and dex.

To learn more about Delannah and the other 10 exceptional teens, read the event press release.


Dear Boys & Girls Clubs of King County parents, guardians and community members,
Safety is our #1 priority and we want you to know what that means to you, your family, and most importantly your kids. It is important to us that you know how to access all of the necessary information about child safety within the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County.

The timing of this notice is due to the fact that a local reporter has been building a story about child safety within the Boys & Girls Clubs nationally, regionally and even locally. This story could run as early as this weekend or sometime within the month. This same information sharing is happening across our network of 4,000 Clubs. 

Strict child safety policy information we would like to share with you:

  • Our job is to keep your kids safe and provide a positive place for them to grow.
  • Safety is our #1 priority.
  • We guard kids’ safety with mandatory and routine background checks on all potential staff and volunteers, require staff and volunteers to follow strict policies and procedures, continuously update and offer routine trainings and build a culture of safety in all of our clubs.
  • We employ a zero-tolerance policy is there is any disregard of our procedures. If any issues of concern are brought to our attention, the police and Child Protective Services are immediately contacted.
  • Our organization has had two issues in the past few years at the Wallingford Club that have involved two teen members. We involved the police immediately in both instances and are in constant communication with the authorities.
  • We are continuously seeking to improve our safety efforts. For example, we consistently incorporate the national BGCA safety standards and we are working with other community organizations to strengthen our safety programming through new trainings.
  • Every day, we work with kids to reinforce their knowledge of self-defense and safety smarts. We provide every opportunity to make sure their voices are heard.

If you have any concerns or questions, you can reach out to your Regional Director (see below) or a local Club Director. You can also send questions to Additionally, the national organization offers a 24-hour hotline, 1-866-607-SAFE, and has developed a child safety portal, accessible through

Thank you again for your support of our 16,000 plus kids.   

Calvin Lyons
Boys & Girls Clubs of King County

Jane Ronngren, Director of Early Learning & Child Care
Cell (206) 422-4512

Doug Wozeniak, Regional Director - East
Cell 425-221-5982

Patrick M. Murray, Regional Director – North and South
Cell 206-388-6440

Click here for Child Club Safety Information

Click here for Child Safety Q&A



World’s Largest Snowball Fight to Benefit BGCKC on January 12
Proceeds from Snow Day on 1/12/13 will benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of King County. The event will bring 162,000 lbs. of snow from the mountain passes into Memorial Stadium at Seattle Center. Local organizations will then shape the snow into forts and castles in an epic competition. Minutes after the most majestic snow fort is crowned, 6,000 people will wreak havoc on the snow village in an attempt to break the record for the World’s Largest Snowball Fight (officially held by the Republic of Korea with 5,387 participants). All of this will build community by embracing the inner child in all of us.
Snow Day is looking for companies to build forts and snow warriors who are interested in setting a world record. If you think your company would be interested in having an amazing time while supporting kids in our community, please join the fight. Visit for more information. Read the press release here.



Boys & Girls Clubs of County KidsAuction 2012 Achieves Close to $800,000. Read More



From the Clubs

  "New Beverage Policy"
In partnership with The Department of Health and Human Services and Public Health of Seattle & King County, and the University of Washington Department of Education, Boys & Girls Clubs of King County have adopted the elementary and high school Alliance for Healthier Generations (AHG) Beverage guidelines, which eliminates high-sugar beverages from our Clubs.  This policy change is in line with BGCA ‘Healthy Lifestyles’ strategy to fight childhood obesity and teenage diabetes.  Click here to see the AHG guidelines.
  The Sammamish EX3 Teen and Recreation Center Powered by Microsoft is Finally Open!
  Bainbridge Island's Cooking/Garden program combines learning and healthy lifestyles! Watch the KING5 news story here
  Thanks to A State Farm Youth Advisory Board Grant of $56,000 Renway BGC Microsociety will continue to create the opportunity for Club kids to discover their potential and engage the community!

Full 90 for Life

The Seattle Sounders FC and Coca-Cola Refreshments donated $100,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs of King County to support the organization's healthy and active living programs. A portion of this donation goes to the Full 90 for Life program, which rolled out at our Smilow Rainier Vista Clubhouse June 27, 2011. Watch the Sounders FC program HERE!


Living in Gangland

KUOW reporter Vanessa Romo takes a look at our Smilow Clubhouse at Rainier Vista and their success at keeping some kids out of gangs and off the street. Listen to the story here.

SMART girls Sleepover

Girls from across King County came together for a sleepover on March 11th. Click to watch the video!

Holidays at the Clubs 2010

Click to watch the video!

Halloween 2010

Halloween at the Clubs 2010

Click to watch the video!

CA technologies hosts Jr. Golf Day for BGCKC
Freddy Couples hosts clinic at US Senior Open! Please click here to read story
"Professionalism" was the word of the day
Renway kids welcomed friends from Moss Adams, Microsoft and Lionfish to enjoy their city. Please click here to view video.
Gardening at the clubs
Volunteers from Amway Global and the Green Education Foundation help our Boys & Girls Clubs learn the fun of organic gardening! Watch our footage here. Please click here to view video.
Winter Fun from our Clubs
Volunteers take Club kids shopping, tubing and more! Please click here to view video.
Thanksgiving at our Clubs!
Hot meals and a talent show!
Please click here to view the video.

In the News



Win7 July 16, 2010
Jedi Camp featured on KIRO radio!
Click here to listen to story.
Win7 June 28, 2010
King County Council recognizes award-winning Renway. Click here to read the article.
Win7 May 28, 2010
Renway wins National Award. Click here to read more!
Win7 March 30, 2010
Boys & Girls Clubs of America news story could impact local efforts, read our President/CEO remarks.  Click here to read remarks from BGCA.
Subaru December 29, 2009
Share the Love with Boys & Girls Clubs of King County through Subaru. Click here to read more.

Press Releases

Rhythmic Gymnastics Group Performs at KidsAuction 2012
Nova Gymnastics Academy has worked together with the Federal Way Boys and Girls Club and EX3 Ron Sandwith Teen Center to create an elite rhythmic gymnastics program for young girls. Directed by Katerina Furlong, a former U.S. Elite Team member, the club has produced some of the region's top rhythmic gymnasts. Click here to learn more about the program:

Contact Katerina Furlong, President of Nova Gymnastics Academy, at 206-618-5946 to learn more about rhythmic gymnastics opportunities at your Club.

May 2012

Thank you Seattle Foundation & GiveBIG Sponsors!

Thank you to the Seattle Foundation and our generous donors for supporting GiveBIG!

On May 2, 2012, generous online donors raised a total of $12,481. And with the help of the Seattle Foundation GiveBIG stretch pool, we raised an additional $1,442!

That’s $13,923 for our kids! Your generosity enables us to be there for every child, especially those who need us most.

GiveBIG generated $7.43 million in online contributions to more than 1,100 non-profits, many of whom had never participated before. The day was proof of the amazing spirit of giving in our community.

March 2012

Meet Our New President and CEO
Boys & Girls Clubs of King County Board Chair Erika Schmidt recently announced the hiring of Calvin Lyons as our new President and CEO. Click here to read more or Click here to watch video.
pic February, 2010
Wallingford Club Teen Wins Youth of the Year Competition. Click here to read more.
pic February, 2010
Boys & Girls Clubs of King County Teens Compete for Youth of the Year title. Click here to read more.

Press Release Archives

  January, 2010
BGCKC Teams Up with USDA Food Program to Provide More Meals for Kids. Click here to read more.
  October 20, 2009
$985,000 Raised at Annual KidsAuction. Click here to read more.
  September 28, 2009
MI School District and Boy & Girls Clubs Resolve Lease Issue. Click here to read more.
  September 26, 2009
College and Career Fair for Seattle Teens. Click here to read more.
  August 26, 2009
Preparing Our Youth for a Successful School Year. Click here to read more.
  June 19, 2009
Teens Only: 2nd Annual Teen Fest in Sammamish. Click here to read more.
  June, 2009
Renton’s Mayor Law Presents Key to the City to Kid Government. Click here to read more.
  April 11, 2009
Southwest Boys & Girls Club's SMART Girls spearhead Teen Summit and Resource Fair. Click here to read more.
  April 6, 2009
Former Mariner and baseball legend, José Cruz Jr., shares his love of baseball with Boys & Girls Clubs. Click here to read more.
  April 1, 2009
Seattle's leading female athletes celebrate All Girls Sports Day at Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club. Click here to read more.
  February 28, 2009
Boys & Girls Clubs of King County hosts Regional Digital Arts Festival. Click here to read more.
  February 10, 2009
Rainier Vista teen wins King County Youth of the Year competition. Click here to read more.
  December 3, 2008
Club kids make presents for family with the help of volunteers. Click here to read more.
  October 20, 2008
Annual KidsAuction raises $900,000: 90% of goal reached. Click here to read more.
  September 15, 2008
Boys & Girls Clubs of King County announces new hires and new board member. Click here to read more.
























From the Clubs Archives

Sounders FC Star Freddie Ljungberg Visits Southwest Club!

The Southwest Club welcomed Sounders FC player, Freddie Ljungber, on October 15th. Freddie spent time answering questions, signing autographs and playing with the kids. Many thanks to Freddie and the Seattle Sounders! Click here to view highlights from Freddie's visit.

Groundbreaking News From Mercer Island

After eight years of your encouragement for the Mercer Island PEAK project, ground has been broken! The funding for the $14.5M project was raised by members of the Mercer Island community. The new facility will be located amidst the teens on the Island: the MI High School campus. Stay tuned for the Grand Opening of PEAK, summer of '10.

What Were You Doing at Age 12?
This sixth grader is the president of his own city

Hunter is learning about leadership, compassion, hard work and responsibility through real-life experiences; he's 12 years old, in the 6th grade and the president-elect of the city of Renway. Hunter and his cabinet of officers review business proposals, approve Renway bank loans and "if the paychecks are wrong, we have to organize things".

Lionfish contributes more than $300,000 worth of creativity

When our friends at Lionfish agreed to help us refresh the face of our organization, they immediately submerged themselves in the Boys & Girls Club culture. They wanted to step inside your shoes and minds so they sought the thoughts of more than 800 of you - board members, parents, staff and supporters and of course, Club kids. 

In the News Archives

November 19, 2009
A group of Microsoft employees raised $5,000 and used the money to build 10 new computers for the Renton/Skyway Boys & Girls Club. Click here to read more.

November 10, 2009
We're a favorite! The Puget Sound public has chosen us as one of their favorite Northwest employers in the fourth annual NWjobs People's Picks contest. We were declared a finalist for favorite largest non-profit. Many thanks to everyone who voted!

August 17, 2009
The Sounders FC and the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County will host a school supply drive at the Sounders FC vs. New England Revolution match Thursday.  "Thousands of the area youth are not able to afford the proper supplies necessary to succeed in school, like backpacks, pencils, crayons and paper," said Boys & Girls Club Communications & Public Relations Director
Rachel Doxtater.  Click here to read more.

July 1, 2009
For the past eight years, the Mercer Island community has worked tirelessly to bring a Teen Center to the island. On Monday, June 29th, all their hard work paid off. Read more about the groundbreaking. Click here to read more.

June 22, 2009
Celebrities converge for charity tournament. For the record, it's not about the golf, it's about the kids. Click here to read more.

June 18, 2009
The 2nd annual Teenfest will get underway at 1 p.m. on Friday with a skateboard competition and transition into a muscial event. Click here.

June 10, 2009
2nd annual teen festival to feature skating, food, and music. Click here to read more.

April 2, 2009
100+ Kids Converge on Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club for All-Girl Sports Day. Click here to read more.

March 25, 2009
Postive Patrol Rewards Kids for Good Deeds. Click here to read more.


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