While other organizations are working to give kids something to do to stay out of trouble. the Holmesburg Boys Club has been working to get kids off the streets and into a safe environment for the past 50 years.
The Holmesburg Boys Club is a local establishment located at the intersection of Ditman and Lansing streets. The large, white brick building houses a full basketball court that can be transformed into an indoor hockey rink with boards and glass. Unlike other boys and girls clubs in the city, Holmesburg is entirely owned and operated by volunteers.
“We pay our own bills. We pay our own utilities,” said Matthew Mullins, the political liaison for the club. “This is a privately owned area.”
From the youngest child who wants to be like his favorite athlete to the high school superstar living his dream, Holmesburg Boys Club offers a variety of sports and activities for kids of all ages. The club offers basketball, football, indoor foot hockey, cheerleading, softball and baseball.
“The coaches are for the kids, they’re neighborhood guys. They come together. They care about the kids. [It’s] not about them winning, [it’s] about each individual child themselves getting them to learn the sport that they’re playing,” said Kim Burns, a proud parent of an athletic son. “We just signed him up for summer hockey and then he is going to do football and then his regular hockey again in the winter.”
Sue McMahon, the volunteer treasurer for the club, was once a parent like Kim Burns.
“My two daughters started here and that’s when I got involved almost 25 years ago,” she said.
In order to keep the club thriving, expenses can reach up to $30,000 a year in equipment, utilities and maintenance. The volunteers raise money by receiving grants from local politicians, collecting membership fees and holding fundraisers.
“I take in all the money. I record the money accurately. Then I pass it over to the financial secretary, who then writes out the bills,” McMahaon said. “So there’s a checks and balance system going on. I put the money in and he writes the money out.”
Currently, the Holmesburg Boys Club is holding registration for its first summer foot hockey league. The club serves more than 500 families and continues to gain new members everyday.