WellesleyWeston Magazine

SUMMER 2012

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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family matters "promotes healthy lifestyles" Their mission? "To bridge the gap of the cost of summer camp for city families," Mattoon says. No Summertime Blues A mere fourteen miles from Weston, the Blue Hill Boys & Girls Club is located on Talbot Avenue in Dorchester. It underwent major renova- tions in 2007 to accommodate more youth, and today serves more than 1,400 members between the ages of six and eighteen each year. "The Blue Hill Boys & Girls Club offers opportunities for leadership, provides role models, and promotes healthy lifestyles," Fuchs states. While the Club features a pool, gym, recording and dance studios, and offers high-impact programming in the arts, sports, leadership development, and technology, it's located in an area of the city that doesn't enjoy an immediate economic base of corporate benefactors. "I'm a busy mother, wife, and student, and the Blue Hill Boys & Girls Club is like a second home to my children," explains a parent who works and attends UMass Boston in pursuit of a degree in health sciences. "It can be very difficult to keep up with my kids and usher them towards endeavors that will better them in the long term. " Scott McLellan, Executive Director of the Blue Hill Boys & Girls Club, knows firsthand from his professional vantage point that summer can be a complicated, vulnerable time for the area's youth. "Many parents in the Dorchester and Mattapan community don't have a summer place for their kids to be between 9 and 5 that is a safe environment with some structure," he explains. "So, typically each year, we go through a process of financial aid for the summer camps. If parents can afford one or two weeks, we'd offer scholarships to cover the remainder. " But after a spring 2011 grassroots cam- paign that rallied caring Westonites around the cause, the Weston Friends of Blue Hill Boys & Girls Club positively impacted 75 chil- dren for the seven-week camp last summer. "Overall, 200 weeks of camp were awarded at no cost to Boys & Girls club members via full or partial scholarships," says Katterhagen. above: Learning gardening skills and making friends to last a lifetime at the Blue Hills Boys & Girls Club. left: Youngsters show their enthusiasm for summer camp at the Blue Hill Boys & Girls Club in Dorchester. 140 WellesleyWeston Magazine | summer 2012 PHO TOS COURTESY OF BLUE HILL BOYS & GIRLS CLUB

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