Our Charity’s History in Philadelphia

Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia has served our city’s youth since 1887. Our Germantown, Wissahickon, and Nicetown units are three of the original clubs that were part of the founding of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America more than 100 years ago. While much has changed since we first began, one thing remains constant:


Germantown Club opens


Nicetown Club opens as the first Club to serve girls since its inception


Wissahickon Club opens as the first Club to serve an African-American community


Philadelphia Clubs join 49 other organizations to charter what has become Boys & Girls Clubs of America


Northeast Frankford Club opens


Bridesburg Club opens


Wissahickon, Frankford, Bridesburg, and Nicetown join to create Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Philadelphia and expand to include after-school childcare


Germantown Club joins the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metorpolitan Philadelphia


West Kensington, the first new club in five decades, opens to serve the Latino community


Bridesburg Club builds preschool addition, and we establish the Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia endowment


Organization becomes Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia, and host the National Keystone Conference, bringing together youth leaders from 2,000 Boys & Girls Clubs organizations throughout the country


Boys & Girls Clubs implement 21st Century technology programs


Former First Lade Laura Bush visits Germantown Club, and we open our Feltonville Club


Wilson Park and Fairmount Units open, and Feltonville Unit is renamed to honor Police Officer Lauretha Vaird


Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia celebrates its 125th Anniversary


First CEO team, Lisabeth and Joseph Marziello, hired to transform organization

January 2012

“Be Great Philadelphia” campaign raises over $6 million, and reopens Nicetown Unit to community as Shane Victorino Nicetown after a year of closure and major renovations


First Literacy Center opens at West Kensington Club as a part of the Literacy Initiative


$40 Million Bold Change for Kids Campaign is launched to renovate 7 Club buildings throughout the city


Philly Showcase of Wine & Cheese hits a record high of $1.9 million in overall revenue


Three new Club Site open in partnership with the Philadelphia Housing Authority at Johnson Homes, Rosen Homes, and Harrison Plaza

Winter 2016

Began significant renovations to the Northeast Frankford and Bridesburg Clubs, resulting in two brand-new Literacy Centers, new teen centers, renovated gyms and more

Fall 2016

Call to Action Literary Initiative, now operating at 12 Clubs including 3 elementary school partnership sites, is nationally recognized with the Honor Award for Program Excellence at BGCA’s National Conference


First full service Kids Cafe opens at the Wissahickon Club


Organization wins Wawa Foundation Hero Award

Summer 2018

AmeriCorps Great Futures Program launches

April 2019

Philly Showcase of Wine, Cheese & Beer hits record high of over $2 million in overall revenue

September 2019

BGCP awarded a $1,687,500 21st Century CLC grant, allowing us to open two new school extension sites at Ziegler and Emlen Elementary schools

January 2020

Unveiled the completely renovated Northeast Frankford Boys & Girls Club

January 2020

Broke ground to create the Ralph J. Roberts Boys & Girls Club in Germantown

April 2020

Launched our online DEFY Club

September 2020

Opened 15 sites to serve as access-centers for the City’s youth providing full-day programming while schools are closed

September 2020

Hosted the Coach’s Private Reserve Dinner as a socially distanced event, raising over $2.5 million despite COVID-19

May 2021

Philadelphia Hosts National BGCA Conference

September 2021

Hosted the Coach’s Private Reserve Dinner, raising over $2.9 million