Beloit Boys & Girls Club to be named after Barrett Copy


Club gets new art room thanks to Michaels and Evelyn


SOUTH BELOIT—The South Beloit Boys & Girls Club was filled with gleeful children taking a look at their newly remodeled and stocked art room as the new space was revealed on Thursday.

After a snip of the ribbon the art room door was opened and children entered to see the space including a Cricut machine, computer, 3D printer, a kiln, clay, kinetic sand and all kinds of paints, markers, crayons sorted by color and in clear bins. All the organized items were tucked away for a perfect fit in new shelving. Tables, miniature chairs and easels awaited the wee artists

The colorful and organized sight was made possible by a $25,000 Michaels MAKE Space Grant.

With the grant those at the Boys & Girls Club were able to refresh cabinets and counter tops, buy additional cabinets for storage, buy a new sink, update the art tables, get new art stools and all sorts of new art supplies to fill all the cabinets with all new art equipment, explained Unit Director Meghan Moffett-Minter.

It all began with Program Director Evelyn Garcia-Martinez who applied for the grant. When she heard the news in an email she was shocked and thrilled and the team hustled to plan for the bright new space. Garcia-Martinez’s convincing grant request was selected out of nearly 300 submissions.

Moffett-Minter and Stateline Boys & Girls Club CEO Mark Rand weren’t surprised Garcia-Martinez was able to obtain the grant or what a great job she did selecting and organizing materials. They said she is extremely artistic, detail-oriented and has her finger on the pulse on what the kids of the Boys & Girls Club want and need as she has such great rapport with them.

Rand said art and creative options are an important offering for many kids at the club and they are blessed to have someone talented in the arts and with an artistic eye such as Garcia-Martinez.

Rand said the grant was a bit challenging as no more than 10% of the funds could be spent on contracted labor with a special focus to obtaining the right art materials and getting them arranged to fit the needs of the kids.

Moffett-Minter, who shares a love of art, said she is impressed with Garcia-Martinez’s ability to make things happen and bring complex projects to fruition.

Rand noted Garcia-Martinez has three sisters who either work, or worked in the past, at the Boys & Girls Club and all have special artistic talents.

New Boys and Girls Club half complete, seeking donations


BELOIT — The new Stateline Boys & Girls Club facility at 202 Maple Ave. is about half complete, with plans to move children into the new space in January.

As progress continues, Stateline Boys & Girls Clubs Capital Campaign Chair Jim Packard Jr. and CEO Mark Rand are calling on the community to help it raise the $150,000 remaining in its $5.5 million capital campaign.

“We are asking you to help us cross that finish line and be a part of that goal,” Packard said

“We would like to see that money come from a variety of sources with as many community stakeholders as possible,” Rand added.

While those with the campaign have benefited tremendously from large donations and are close to their financial goal, they are open to all sizes of donations from all people in the community and want to include as many people as possible in the project.

There are naming opportunities on rooms and corridors as well as an indoor donor board with different recognition levels for as low as $1,000. An outdoor donor wall by the flag pole with square plaques will be available for as low as $500. Those who wish to donate $10 or $25 or any other amount are also encouraged to do so.

“We just want to appeal to the public—whether they came here, or had kids who came here or they just believe in what the club does for the community,” Rand said. “No gift is too large or too small. Every gift is going to make an impact and help us not only reach our goal, but build a better community building and future for our kids.”

Ground broke on the new facility on April 5, and it’s scheduled for completion by the end of December.

“Our goal is to have some sort of ribbon cutting and grand opening in the last week of December and be open for kids the first day they go back to school after winter break,” Rand said.

The campaign can be followed on the club’s website for updates or to make donations. For more information, contact Rand at 608-365-8874 or [email protected]. Any of the campaign members can be contacted regarding donations to the Capital Campaign.

Packard said those with the club wanted to do more community activities to drum up awareness of the project including picnics and events, but were somewhat limited due to COVID-19. They are eager to include the community as much as possible going forward.

U.S House Passes $500,000


Fundraising will give South Beloit Boys & Girls Club $500,000 facelift

JIM FRANZ Co-Sports Editor | June 20, 2021

SOUTH BELOIT — Supporters of the South Beloit Boys & Girls Club will be comforted by the fact the club at 1161 Dorr Road wasn’t forgotten in the Stateline Boys & Girls Club’s current capital campaign.

Boys & Girls Club CEO Mark Rand says $500,000 from the $5 1/2 million project has been earmarked for updates and renovations at the existing South Beloit Boys & Girls Club.

“From the outset of our capital improvement project our focus was to make sure we put money into the South Beloit facility for its long-term sustainability,” Rand said. “The building has withstood the test of time a bit better than the one in Beloit. We feel like by putting money into renovations and updates it’s going to stay that way and extend its impact over the next 30 years.”

Fundraising for the South Beloit club will receive a boost on July 30 when a Casino Night Fundraiser is held there from 4-8 p.m. That night will feature the unveiling of a new name for the facility, honoring long-time unit director Bruce Nichols. The club will be known as the Bruce Nichols South Beloit Boys & Girls Club.

Rand has a special affinity for the South Beloit club. Born in Rockford, he moved to Rockton in the fourth grade and spent a lot of time as a “club kid” in South Beloit in the mid-1970s.

“It was all about acceptance,” Rand said. “I was a Rockton kid and I was accepted there. Midway through fifth grade we moved to Beloit and I virtually lived at the club there. But I never forgot how important the South Beloit club is to that community.”

Rand said the major facelift is long overdue.

“The last capital campaign was 1999 when it changed from the Boys Club to Boys & Girls Club,” he said. “When you’re running 100 to 125 kids in here every night, pre-COVID, that wears on a place.”

The improvements at South Beloit include a new parking lot, new HVAC unit, new flooring throughout, including the gyms, glass backboards in the main gym and all the ceiling tile replaced.

“There will be some updating in the lobby as well and new paint everywhere,” Rand said.

He said every effort is made to duplicate the opportunities offered at the Beloit club. He works with South Beloit Unit Director Meghan Moffett-Minter and Program Director Evelyn Garcia-Martinez.

“Both places have a computer lab. Both have gyms. Both have game rooms. Both have STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) labs. Part of the process is getting feedback from the kids. We evaluate what they like and don’t like. They vote with their feet whether they come through the door or not.”

Club to be renamed after longtime director Bruce Nichols

SOUTH BELOIT — For nearly 30 years, Bruce Nichols was not only the unit director at the South Beloit Boys & Girls Club, he was its heart and soul.

To thousands of boys and eventually girls who considered the South Beloit Boys & Girls Club their home away from home, no one is more deserving of having their name on the building.

That will happen officially on July 30 at the club’s Casino Night when it becomes the Bruce Nichols South Beloit Boys & Girls Club.

No spoiler alert is necessary. The guest of honor is well aware of the event.
“Social media being what it is, we knew there’s no way it wouldn’t get out,” said Brian Nichols, Bruce’s brother. “We also wanted to make sure he wasn’t planning on taking a vacation the night of the unveiling. It’s important he be there.”
The surprise just came a whole lot earlier as Brian told his brother the news a few weeks ago.

“I am shocked and humbled,” Bruce Nichols said in a telephone interview from Tampa, Fla., where he and his wife have resided since his retirement in 2009. “I never pictured a South Beloit kid growing up and getting his name on that building. You think of that as someone giving a big-time donation or someone who is just big-time.”

Nichols may not be rich, but he’s certainly famous to club alums.

“Bruce Nichols was the driving force at the South Beloit club for years,” Brian Flanigan said. “It was his vision. He was the one who cultivated the activities. He had the passion and he found the right people to run his programs.”

Bruce Nichols was a club kid himself growing up in South Beloit, although he was bused to the Beloit club. He graduated from South Beloit High School in 1969 and Illinois State in 1973, the same year he became a volunteer staffer at the South Beloit Boys Club.

In 1976, he was named program director of the Beloit Boys Club and the following year he became unit director there. He moved in 1980 to become unit director of the South Beloit club and remained there for 29 years.

While he was director at South Beloit, he initiated many programs, including the Member of the Year, the Adopt-a-Grandparent and Pen Pal programs, the Boys Club soccer program and many more.

“You can say what you want about the brick and mortar,” Nichols said. “You can talk about the programs and all these different things they are doing, but it all gets back to people. I always had a vision, but I had to have the right people around me to do it. My success was based on finding people I was impressed with and then recruiting them, whether as workers or volunteers. My job 24-7 was finding good people.”

Nichols said another key to his long-term success was giving the kids who went there a feeling of ownership.

“Mainly, it’s the kids’ club and I let them make some decisions,” he said. “I wanted them to feel like the place was their’s.”

They did.

“Bruce was a great leader of young kids,” said club alum Peter Scalia. “Some of the kids who were the most trouble in school went to the Boys Club and they didn’t get in trouble there. Bruce was a no-nonsense type of guy and he didn’t play favorites. Kids wanted to be there and they knew they had to behave.”

Nichols said a strong background in counseling and guidance gave him the ammunition he needed to be an effective communicator with kids.

“One of the things people fail to do is really invest in a relationship with a kid,” he said. “Once you listen to them and give them some patience they don’t think of you as a disciplinarian. They think of you as someone who respects them and then they listen.

“The first thing you need to do is get them to take responsibility for what they do. The club is all about making smart choices.”

Nichols said he sometimes followed his own path.

“During the time I was there the national Boys & Girls Club wanted to become more program-oriented,” he said. “I rode that wave, but at the South Beloit Club I was also kind of on my own. I could take the club in the direction I wanted and I had to make it enjoyable for kids to make sure they came back.”

Nichols is thrilled the club still has relevance and he’s convinced CEO Mark Rand will keep it that way.

“South Beloit kids need the kind of place where they feel they belong and I think Mark Rand will see they do,” Nichols said. “He is the best executive director I’ve seen.”


Check out CEO Mark Rand and Capital Campaign Chair Jim Packard, Jr. on WCLO.  They spent some time with Tim Bremel giving an update on our current Capital Campaign.  Visit our Campaign page to learn more and donate today!

Beloit Snappers auction off stadium naming rights

BELOIT, Wis. (WIFR) – The Beloit Snappers are set to make minor league baseball history and the biggest winner will be the Stateline areas Boys and Girls Club.

For every remaining home game at Pohlman Field, the Snappers are auctioning off the naming right of the ballpark. Fans will have the opportunity to bid on the naming rights through MILB auctions leading up to each game in 2021 at the stadium with a minimum bid of $500.

The winning bidder will be able to choose the stadium’s name for the night, get eight tickets, be interviewed on the radio broadcast and even lead Take Me Out to the Ball Game with proceeds benefitting the local Boys and Girls Club.

“It’s just a unique situation here with half the season here before we move crosstown into the new river bend stadium. There will be an announcement about our naming rights partner over there soon enough. I just think a very clever idea highlighting the almost 40 years playing at Pohlman Field and more importantly helping the mission here with Stateline Boys and Girls Club,” Jeff Jurgella, President of the Beloit Snappers said.

Copyright 2021 WIFR. All rights reserved.

Beloit Snappers to give fans a chance to name the stadium–and for a good cause

BELOIT, Wis. (WTVO) – If you’ve ever wanted to have a stadium named after you, the Beloit Snappers are giving you the chance.

Fore every remaining home game at Pohlman Field this season, the Snappers are auctioning off the naming rights to the new ballpark.

This will be the first time in professional baseball history that a stadium’s name will be up for auction, to raise money for the Stateline Boys and Girls Club.

“Exciting, humbling, you know the opportunity to be involved with the Snappers in something like this is tremendous,” said Stateline Boys and Girls Club CEO Mark Rand.

Rand says he was surprised when he got a call from Jeff Jurgella, president of the Beloit Snappers.

“They do amazing things and we’re awfully excited to be a part of that,” said Jurgella.

Especially after a year of challenges brought on by the pandemic.

“COVID-19 obviously slowed things a little bit but we’ve got a lot of great people [and] a lot of community leaders that believe not only in what we’re doing but in our project and what it can do for the community,” Rand said.

The donations from Pohlman Field will help the Boys and Girls club build a new $5.5 million facility in Beloit, as well as making renovations to the building in South Beloit.

“Played a lot of games on this field in high school and prior to high school so it’s just a great opportunity for our clubs our kids and our community as a whole,” said Rand.

Rand says the new facility will provide kids a safe and positive space where they can do homework, get mentoring, and a place for them to create a future for themselves.

“It’s just an opportunity for us to reach more kids. It’s a larger facility in Beloit. It’s more centrally located so it will eliminate some of those transportation issues….Ultimately, it’s to be able to reach more kids and impact the community as a whole,” added Rand.

Officials hope to have construction finished by December.

Fans will have the opportunity to bid on the stadium’s naming rights through MiLB Auctions leading up to each game held at Pohlman Field in 2021. The winning bidder for each game will be able to choose the stadium’s name for the night and will receive eight tickets to the game, two vinyl signs displayed at the stadium featuring their stadium name, public address announcements throughout the game, a radio interview during an inning, inclusion of their stadium name on the team website, the opportunity to lead the singing of the seventh-inning stretch, and a group photo with team mascot Snappy.

“We’re very excited to offer our fans the ultimate ballpark experience in 2021. Our stadium belongs to the community, and there is no better way to show that than letting the fans choose its name each night. For the fan who has always dreamed of having their name up in lights, being able to enjoy a game at YOUR stadium is an unforgettable and unprecedented experience,” team president Jeff Jurgella said.

Game dates will be up for auction beginning today, Wednesday, April 14. The starting price for each auction is $500 dollars and the auction for each game will end a week prior to the date selected.

Fans wanting to secure their date also have a “buy-it-now” option, which is $1,000 for weekday games (Tuesdays-Fridays) or $1,500 for weekend games (Saturdays and Sundays).

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Snappers offer fans stadium naming rights

BELOIT—Ever wonder what it would be like to have a baseball stadium named after you?

The Beloit Snappers have the perfect answer for you.

For every home game played at Pohlman Field this coming season, the Snappers are auctioning off the ballpark’s naming rights in an effort to raise money for the Stateline Boys & Girls Club.

Team officials believe it is the first time in professional baseball history that a stadium’s name will be available for auction.

“The Brewers are not the only professional baseball team to have a new naming rights partner in 2021,” team president Jeff Jurgella said. “For the remainder of the season at Pohlman Field, fans will be able to buy the naming rights to the stadium for each game with the net proceeds going to the Stateline Boys & Girls Club.

“Our mission as an organization is to improve the quality of life in our community and helping the Stateline Boys & Girls Club is a great way to make an impact and help youth in our community grow, learn and succeed. The Stateline Boys & Girls Club broke ground on their new facility last week and while construction has commenced they still have a funding gap in their capital campaign that we would like to help close.”

Mark Rand, CEO of the Stateline Boys & GIrls Club, was on hand for the kickoff of the fundraising effort.

“The Snappers have always been a great partner,” Rand said. “The Snappers here locally have always felt the need to reach out in the community and help young people providing tickets, clinics and other ways. Our tagline for our project is building a better future for our community and the Snappers took that and ran with it. We are certainly grateful to Jeff and the Snappers for reaching out to be a part of our campaign. For me personally it is exciting to be out here again. I played a lot of games on this field in high school.”

Fans will have the opportunity to bid on the stadium’s naming rights through MiLB Auction leading up to each game held at Pohlman FIeld in 2021. Game dates went up for auction beginning Wednesday. The starting price for each auction is $500 and the auction for each game will end a week prior to the date selected.

Fans wanting to secure their date also have a “buy-it-now” option, which is $1,000 for weekday games (Tuesday-Friday) or $1,500 for weekend games (Saturday and Sunday).

The winning bidder for each game will be able to choose the stadium’s name for the night and will receive eight tickets to the game, two vinyl signs displayed at the stadium featuring their stadium name, public address announcements throughout the game, a radio interview during an inning, inclusion of their stadium name on the team website, the opportunity to lead the singing of Take Me Out to the Ballgame during the seventh-inning stretch and a group photo with team mascot Snappy.

“We can’t do first pitch in May because of COVID-19 restrictions, but we’re looking forward to that possibly changing later on,” Jurgella said. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to help a great cause and to have fans become a part of the Snappers farewell season in a way that has never been offered by a team before.”

He said the motivation behind naming rights are endless: an unforgettable birthday gift, an exposure for a business, even a marriage proposal.

“Take her to ‘Will You Marry Me, Jessica? Park,’” Jurgella said. “There are so many fun possibilities and we’re looking forward to seeing them each night at the ballpark.”

Fan-submitted stadium names will be subject to a vetting process by Major League Baseball and the Snappers and potential names can be refused for any reason.

Jurgella said the club sought out the approval of Harry C. Pohlman’s family for the renaming and that his legacy would still be honored. Long-time baseball coach Pohlman was a member of the original Beloit Brewers board of directors.

“The stadium names will have the format of Pohlman Field at Your Name Here Stadium.” Jurgella said.

• UP NEXT: The Snappers begin the 2021 season on May 4 in Appleton against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. The home opener is May 11 against the South Bend Cubs.

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