Our Mission and History

Mission Statement

After three decades of service to the Fort Wayne community, the club demolished its aging facility. Above: President and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne, Joe Jordan.

To inspire all young people, especially those who need us the most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens.

History

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.

 

Joe Jordan (left) President and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne receives a $5000 check from Michael Poore, CEO of Lutheran Health Network at a 2017 Fort Wayne Komets hockey game. The Komets matched the $2500 donation from the Lutheran Health Network for a total gift of $5000.

 

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, Kelley 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.

The first Executive Director, Duane Hinshaw (now a Vice President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America), found a long, eager line of kids waiting for the club to open at 1309 Minor Street.
The club’s original three rooms and 180 children served annually has grown to a building at 2609 Fairfield Avenue, three remote sites and service to nearly 2500 children each year.

As part of the 2017 demolition, making room for the new campus, Star Excavating demolished six adjacent homes

Joe Jordan (left) President and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne speaks to a crowd in January 2017 in front of the former club which was demolished to create a new 2.3 acre campus. To his immediate left is Will Thatcher III, chairman of the board for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne and regional president of First Merchants Bank. To his left is Chuck Surack founder and owner of Sweetwater Sound, who was chairman of the successful Capital Campaign.

Under the direction of President and CEO, Joe Jordan, the clubs continue to offer our Fort Wayne youth a fun, safe and positive place to grow into happy, successful adults. This includes a new campus being built in 2018 which features a new 42,000 state of the art building on a 2.3 acre campus.

 More…