“To inspire all young people, especially those who need us the most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens.”
In 1988, Fort Wayne was the largest city in the United States without a Boys and Girls Club. Rudy Mahara, who had recently moved from Lafayette, Indiana to Fort Wayne, convinced a college fraternity brother, Duane Hinshaw, to join him in a meeting with national representatives from the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). Hinshaw, who worked with at risk youth immediately understood the need.
Three months later there was a quality board of directors and Ian Rolland, then President and CEO of Lincoln Life, had made a substantial financial contribution. Organizations like DANA, Kelly Automotive, McDonalds, NIPSCO, General Electric along with local foundations got the ball rolling.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne (BGCFW) were officially started in 1989 by this small, determined small group of community leaders who felt the city needed a safe, positive and accepting place for school age children to go after school and in the summer.