Club on 52nd Street Originally Opened on June 27th, 2011
Kenosha, WI – June 21, 2021 – This week the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha is celebrating 10 years of operations in their building on 52nd Street. The Club was founded in June of 1992 and first served youth in the Wilson Heights neighborhood by renting space in the Memorial United Methodist Church. After years of planning and development, on June 27th, 2011 the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha opened its current state-of-the-art building featuring the Troha Youth Center, a Teen Center, the Madrigrano Sportsplex featuring an indoor turf field and a large gym, locker rooms, offices, a commercial kitchen and more. The build was led by Camosy Construction.
“For me, it seems like yesterday we were constructing the new home of the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha,” said CEO of Camosy Construction and BGCK Foundation President, John Camosy. “The build itself 10 years ago was smooth for one major reason and that was the team we had in place. We were dedicated to reaching the same outcome; what is best for the kids was best for us. Since then I became the Foundation President and continue to be involved with the Club. I am proud to have been able to watch the Club evolve from the early phase of its existence to where we are today.”
The Club has grown leaps and bounds since its inception. Over the past 29 years, the Club has operated school sites, merged with CYC Sports, provided youth employment services in partnership with Kenosha County, renovated many areas inside the Club, built an outdoor playground and most recently began operating Scamps Gymnastics. In 1992 the Club reached 198 youth and in 2020 over 8,000 youth were served.
To celebrate this milestone, the Club will be offering two open tours and networking sessions on Friday, June 25th at 10am and 2pm. No RSVP is required, simply meet in the lobby of the BGCK. Refreshments and dessert will be served. Members will also enjoy a birthday party type celebration to commemorate the building’s anniversary.
The Club would not be what it is today without the many donors, community partners and organizations. Since its inception, Kenosha County and County Executive Jim Kreuser have been champions of the BGCK, always supporting growth in Club programs, affordability and accessibility for those who need it the most.
“For nearly 30 years, the Boys & Girls Club has been making a difference in our community, giving youth a positive outlet for their energy and helping to put so many young lives on the right track,” said Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser. “The Club’s ability to do this important work accelerated with the opening of the new facility 10 years ago. Kenosha County is proud to have worked in partnership with the Boys & Girls Club on the financing of the facility and some of the great programming that continues to this day. I congratulate the Club and all of its members for their past, present and future successes.”
The Club would also like to recognize the City of Kenosha for their contributions to the BGCK’s home on 52nd Street. In the early 1990s, the Common Council directed its Redevelopment Authority to revitalize the neighborhood on 14th Avenue between 50th and 52nd Street. The neighborhood at that time had fallen into blight and was home to sub-standard housing, a vacant manufacturing plant and an adult bookstore. Once the land was acquired and the vacant buildings removed, it was then Mayor John Antaramian that approached the Club with an idea of donating the land to the Club and building a community center on the site.
Following long discussions and planning, the Club decided to make the site its home and began designing the building and raising money. Toward that end, then Mayor John Antaramian asked the Common Council to approve a $5 million dollar grant in support of the construction of the Boys & Girls Club’s new building. In 2015 when the mortgage note for the building came due, Former Mayor Keith Bosman requested the Common Council authorize a $3 million dollar grant to pay off the full balance of the mortgage. The Club would like to thank Mayor John Antaramian, Former Mayor Keith Bosman and all of the City of Kenosha’s Common Council members over the years for all of their past and continued support.
The Madrigrano and Troha families were amongst the BGCK’s earliest supporters and advocated for many years on the need for the Club to have its own building. Their families’ names remain on the building to this day. Multiple generations of family members have continued to be champions of the Club.
“I have recognized early on that Kenosha’s future rests with its youth and the environment in which they are raised,” said Joe Madrigrano Jr. “The Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha is one of the building blocks of the future.”
“Natalie and I were fortunate to be part of starting the Club almost 30 years ago in a building located in the Wilson Heights neighborhood, donated by Shirley and Joseph Madrigrano, Sr.” said Dennis Troha. “The Club’s current beautiful and functional facility has exceeded our expectations. I am certain that a modern and well maintained facility provides a positive environment for the many thousands of Club members who have enjoyed the educational and technical opportunities that the Club has and will continue to offer.”
The BGCK would like to thank all past and present donors, board members, partners, staff and members for helping to make the Club what it is today.
The Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha is a youth guidance organization dedicated to promoting health, social, educational, vocational, cultural, character and leadership development. The Club helps youth improve their lives by building skills, values and self-esteem. When you support the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha, you support the kids who need us the most and their great futures ahead. Visit www.BGCKenosha.org/donate to donate today.