Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana prepare for new Valpo location with dollar-for-dollar campaign

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana prepare for new Valpo location with dollar-for-dollar campaign

50 years after Valparaiso Boys & Girls Club opened in the basement of the First Presbyterian Church, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana is expanding their stake in the Valparaiso community with a new facility located off Evans Avenue.  

“It first opened in the basement of the Westminster Hall in the First Presbyterian Church at 51 N. Franklin Street, but it quickly outgrew that space,” said Ryan Smiley, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana. “The Club moved in December of 1972 to its current location, the old Gardner School at the corner of Campbell and Jefferson.”

“After 50 years, we’re moving again!” he said. “This time we’re building a 36,000 sq. ft. building specifically for the needs of our community’s youth and teens.” 

The Club celebrated its groundbreaking on the over eight acres at 708 Evans Avenue, directly across from Old Fairgrounds Park, back in April, and construction will continue through May 2022. The Club will open its doors to the community at the beginning of summer next year, offering exciting new features and enhanced program offerings that Smiley and his staff cannot wait to bring to Valparaiso members. 

“The new Club will feature a dedicated teen center, STEM Lab, two full-size gyms, games rooms, digital music recording studio, art room, homework rooms, rock-climbing wall, teaching kitchen, community meeting space, and a dance studio,” Smiley said. “We’ve been serving kids in Valpo for 50 years, and it’s time for a new, state-of-the-art Club in our community. If we’re going to remain relevant with youth and teens, we’ve got to offer them something they can’t get elsewhere. This new Club will attract them with its features but will impact them with the many benefits our programs and staff offer.” 

To help raise awareness and funds for the new Club, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana is running a $500,000 matching dollar-for-dollar campaign. Thanks to a generous donor, the organization was able to announce the campaign at its groundbreaking. 

“This is a $9 million capital campaign to build and to equip this brand-new facility,” Smiley said. “To date, we have raised $7.6 million of our goal. Any donation made will be matched, doubling the impact. $500 becomes $1,000; $1,000 becomes $2,000; and so on until our $500k goal is reached.” 

The campaign highlights the strong relationship between the organization and the Valparaiso community. After 50 years of providing a safe and fun environment for local kids and teens, the dollar-for-dollar campaign is another step toward cementing that relationship and the organization’s future impact. 

“A dollar-for-dollar match really drives home the community aspect of our campaign,” Smiley said. “To be successful, we need for people in the community to understand what we are doing and come together to help make it happen. That includes people at every donation level. This match gives donors the comfort of knowing that their impact is doubled. As we move into the final phase of our campaign, every donation matters, regardless of the size.” 

For those looking to support the new location, gifts can be made online at or by calling the Administrative Office at 219-764-2582. Community members can also be of service by sharing Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana’s exciting new developments and volunteering with the organization. 

“Word of mouth is a powerful tool. We hope community members help spread the exciting news about our construction and about our impact in the community,” Smiley said. “With a new facility, we know we will triple membership, affording us the opportunity to build more youth into productive, responsible, and caring citizens. And we will always need volunteers, and as the building opens, there will be plenty of volunteer opportunities. Should anyone want to volunteer, they can reach out to Director of Community Outreach Wendy Mang at” 

For more information about Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana and to keep up-to-date on the new Valparaiso location, visit their website at