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Mathews-Dickey Merges With Boys And Girls Clubs Of Greater St. Louis To Expand Programs

Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis
Mathews-Dickey Boys' & Girls' Club and Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis will merge on Jan. 1. The merger will allow children in north St. Louis to benefit from more sports and educational programs.

The Mathews-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club will merge with The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis on Jan. 1 to offer more programs and services to children in north St. Louis.

The collaboration is about 15 years in the making. Directors from both clubs decided to combine their operations soon because the Mathews-Dickey organization is getting a new leader. Tom Sullivan, its interim executive director and CEO, will become the club’s new director.

After the merger, the two organizations will have different leaders but consolidate their financial offices, human resources and fundraising efforts.

Mathews-Dickey will continue to operate under its name, and will remain in the Penrose community off North Kingshighway and Penrose Street.

The combined organizations will serve nearly 10,000 children. North St. Louis children served by Mathews-Dickey will gain access to programs offered by the greater St. Louis organization.

That will help address the health and educational needs of children from low-income communities, said Flint Fowler, president of the Boys and Club of Greater St. Louis.

“We need to make sure that they have access to the best opportunities in order for them to grow, to become the productive, responsible and caring citizens that we need them to be,” Fowler said.

Mathews-Dickey Boys' and Girls' Club has served young people for more than 60 years in north St. Louis. The club's well-known athletic and educational programs for youth nurtured many nationally recognized athletes and local entrepreneurs and leaders.

The merger aims to bring resources and opportunities to families, Fowler said.

“One thing that we know about families from under-resourced communities is that they're relatively mobile, that they may be living in one part of the area and one month has been a few months later,” he said. “The next year could be living in another part of the region. So this gives them more consistent access to a facility that's closest to them.”

Mathews-Dickey will use the combined resources to expand its sports program by offering golf and soccer to children in north St. Louis. The partnership will also provide north St. Louis children access to science, technology, engineering, arts and math courses at the Mathews-Dickey location and other boys and girls clubs.

“We know that physical education is so important, and we know that in a lot of the schools today those programs are being taken,” said LaVicki Foxwell Hart, chairperson of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater St. Louis. “In many ways we can collaborate and come up with expanded programs and the outreach partnership allows us to reach more families that we can today.”

In October, the Boys and Girls Club of Greater St. Louis merged with two Metro East youth recreational centers — Boys and Girls Clubs of Bethalto.

“Our mission has always been producing physically active, well-educated students and hopeful families at the center of our efforts, and that's what we continue to strive for in this partnership,” Foxwell Hart said.

Follow Andrea on Twitter @drebjournalist

Andrea covers race, identity & culture at St. Louis Public Radio.

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