NEW SPENCE ECCLES BOYS & GIRLS CLUB HOLDS OFFICIAL RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY AND GRAND CELEBRATION IN SALT LAKE CITY
Salt Lake City, June 7, 2021 – On June 2nd, Spencer F. Eccles, trustees of the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, board members and staff from Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake, and community members came together for a grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Spence Eccles Boys & Girls Club. The event featured remarks by LeAnn Saldivar, outgoing President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake, and Spence Eccles, for whom the Club is named. The ribbon cutting was completed by Spence Eccles, Lisa Eccles, Bob Graham, and LeAnn Saldivar, followed by the unveiling of a special tribute wall to honor the generosity and legacy of Spence Eccles and the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation.
“The dream of this Club began many years ago,” said Saldivar. “Since the late 1970s, the former clubhouse known as Capitol West was a home away from home for generations of Fairpark and Rose Park kids Although it was only 9,000 square feet of mostly gymnasium, it still was a magnet for hundreds of kids every year. In fact, many a day over 100 kids squeezed and elbowed their way into that Club. Often doing homework on the floor, eating snacks outside or even doing programs inside the vans. Kids flocked to that club despite its [limited] size.”
The kids of Salt Lake’s Rose Park and Fairpark communities were excited to celebrate the opening of their long-awaited new Boys & Girls Club, but 2020 had other plans! As part of the Great Futures Capital Campaign, a new building was constructed in a new location just a few blocks away, with plans to cut the ribbon and open the doors to even more kids and teens in May of 2020. However, COVID restrictions reduced the number of youth who could attend the new Club and delayed any public celebrations.
But the Club didn’t slow down. In June 2020, they opened at 25% capacity (due to COVID-19 restrictions) and continued providing life changing services both in person and virtually, at a time when youth were increasingly isolated. With the pandemic coming to an end, the Spence Eccles Club currently has nearly 100 youth already enrolled for summer programs and anticipates being at full capacity for the start of school this fall.
"It’s because of kids like these and so many others, I firmly believe there’s no greater investment we can make than in the youth of our communities who need our support and involvement to make positive choices in their lives,” said Eccles. “The Boys & Girls Clubs are important to our state’s future, and we want to make sure we leave Utah to the next generations better than it’s ever been before! I offer personal thanks from my heart for the signal honor of having this Ogden boy’s name grace this Club! It truly is an honor and privilege."
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