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Bogosian throws support behind Massena Boys and Girls Club

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MASSENA - The latest supporter for the Boys and Girls Club of Massena will be promoting the organization while working around his National Hockey League schedule.

Massena’s Zach Bogosian, a defenseman with the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets, has accepted the role of celebrity spokesperson for the proposed club, which hopes to open its doors next year, according to Timmy J. Currier, president of the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Massena.

Mr. Bogosian, 22, was selected third in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Atlanta Thrashers, who have since moved their operation to Winnipeg. In his second season, he tied a team record for goals by a defenseman.

“It’s so great to have someone like Zach want to join us in our efforts to make this club a reality. What he believes in – hard work, supportive adults and proven programs to help you achieve your goals – are all embodied in what a Boys and Girls Club provides,” Mr. Currier said in a new release.

“I’m honored to help however I can,” Mr. Bogosian said. “We need the programs and opportunities for the kids of our community that this club will provide. I know how hard work, supportive adults and great programs can help you achieve what you want to in life.”

The club, he said, will help youngsters reach their goals.

“You’re not going to achieve great things without dreaming it and working towards it. It’s nothing that the world is going to hand to you and, really, it feels so much better when you know you have earned it,” Mr. Bogosian said.

“The Boys and Girls Club will provide the programs and support structure that will help the kids of our community be great,” he said. “Every kid has a chance to do great things, but it takes work and getting the doors of the Boys and Girls Club open is what we, as a community, need to get behind to make a reality.”

The son of Massena’s Ike and Vicky Bogosian, he will be participating in events as his schedule allows to help raise awareness and funds toward the club’s establishment.

Mr. Currier and the Rev. Scott D. Fobare, pastor of St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s parish, had announced in May that a purchase offer had been made on the St. Joseph’s Social Hall, Bayley Road, as the new home for the Boys and Girls Club. The group hopes to have the space open for local youth, program and activities in May 2014. But it will take funding, an effort that is now getting underway.

While Mr. Bogosian will be speaking about the importance of getting kids active and paying visits to the club once it’s open to hang out with members - maybe playing some floor hockey or games of hoops - he will also be assisting with some of the fundraising efforts.

The non-profit group has formally started the public outreach portion of its “Campaign for Kids: The Foundation of our Future” to help raise the necessary funds to establish and maintain the club, according to Mr. Currier.

“We know the amount we need to raise is not small, but the importance is great,” he said. “There is no doubt in my mind that we can secure the funds we need. If those individuals, organizations and businesses who opened up their hearts and their wallets in support of other worthy causes in Massena come through for the community again, we will be opening our ‘big blue’ club doors in May, for sure.”

One of those fundraisers which Mr. Bogosian will participate in is a July 27 Backyard BBQ to Benefit the Boys and Girls Club. Mr. Currier said this year’s fundraiser will focus on informing invited guests about the club and its funding needs and lining up commitments of support. In future years it will celebrate key donors of the club.

He said the “house party” format for the Backyard BBQ includes hosting at a local home with live music, local catering and an available cash bar. But, with a limited number of spaces available, the guest list will include invitees recommended by Mr. Bogosian and members of the capital campaign committee, with the balance available to the public through a silent auction.

Anyone who wants to request that names be added to the guest list should email the names of the attendees and your bid amount to info@BGCMassena.org before July 19.

Among the other events tentatively planned is a “Run, Roll, Walk, Skip for the Boys and Girls Club” in September to help raise awareness and funds and “get active” with kids in the community in connection with the annual National Day for Kids, Mr. Currier said.

They also have tentatively planned a Boys and Girls Club Week, a Boys and Girls Club Hockey Tournament each summer featuring Mr. Bogosian playing (and coaching), and more.

“Zach’s involvement will be tremendous for our fundraising efforts. But, even greater than that will be the positive impact he will have for the kids who will come to the club when we open the doors next May,” Mr. Currier said. “Zach is a role model that our kids can look up to and emulate while showing them that celebrities are real people. We are just so grateful for his willingness to be a part of this important effort.”

For more information on how to support the Boys and Girls Club of Massena with your time, talents or tax-deductible contribution, contact Mr. Currier by emailing info@bgcmassena.org, calling 769-3577 or by completing the contact form at www.bgcmassena.org.

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