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2013 National Award Winners!

The Boys & Girls Club of Lower Merrimack Valley received two prestigious Merit awards for Program Excellence in Overall Programming and for excellence in Overall Participation and Attendance from Jim Clark, President and CEO and Ron Gidwitz, Chairman of the Board, Boys & Girls Clubs of America.  The awards were recently presented to Director of Operations Gene Dion during Boys & Girls Club of America’s 107th National Conference in Orlando, Florida.  Merit Awards for Program Excellence, which are sponsored by MetLife Foundation, are presented annually for outstanding programs developed and implemented in Boys & Girls Clubs across the country to lead youth to a great future.  Each recognition comes with a $2,000 award.  Each year, hundreds of entries are submitted in the five core program areas: character and leadership development, education and career development; health and life skills; and sports, fitness and recreation.

The Club also received Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s prestigious Marketing and Communications (MAC) Award during the organization’s annual national conference in Orlando, Florida.  The Boys & Girls Club of Lower Merrimack Valley was selected among hundreds of local Clubs across the Country for implementing the best marketing strategy for advertising and outreach to the local community.  In recognition of this outstanding achievement, Boys & Girls Club of America’s Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Evan McElroy, was on hand to present Director of Operations Gene Dion with the esteemed award.  Executive Director Jim Keenan stated that “the staff, volunteers and board of directors developed a plan to recruit and retain members in order to increase our average daily attendance.  Programming is a key element to this plan.  Studies have shown that interesting and innovative programs will keep members attention and with that comes increased Club visits.  In turn, the buzz about the Clubs programs will attract new members.  By offering some new and exciting programs and those that make and impact, we feel that our membership objectives will be accomplished.  We feel that by receiving these awards we are on the right track to see that our member’s needs are met.”

MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 to continue MetLife’s longstanding tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement.  Since it was established, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $570 million in grants to nonprofit organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. For more information visit