Community residents, stakeholders and Club youth gathered this morning for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s groundbreaking ceremony to kick off the construction of two teen center projects. New gymnasiums will be built for the Thunderbirds Branch and the Vestar Branch to serve the growing teen population base.

The groundbreaking ceremony, held at the Thunderbirds Branch located in the Scottsdale Grayhawk community, also recognized fundraising efforts and major gifts from community leaders Ellie and Michael Ziegler, Suzanne and Steve Hilton and Marianne and Glenn Guenther. Significant contributions were also made by BGCS Board of Governors, staff and community members through a $1 million match challenge, which is still accepting donations at BGCS.org/OneInAMillion to help fund operations at each branch once construction is complete.

“We are strong supporters of successful programs helping young people, and we know this donation will help provide teens with a safe, nurturing and healthy option to spend their time,” said Marianne Guenther. “We hope that in this new gymnasium our young people will have inspiring conversations, dream big, build confidence and have healthy game-changing opportunities.”

Upon new construction completion, the Hilton Teen Center at Thunderbirds in Grayhawk will be home to a computer/multi-media lab, game room, kitchen, fitness room, homework/tutoring facility and the Guenther-Curran Family Gymnasium. State-of-the-art renovations at the Ellie and Michael Ziegler Teen Center at Vestar in Desert Ridge will include the addition of a new half gym and a revitalization of the existing facilities built in 2007.

“Research shows us that the more time young people spend at a Boys & Girls Club, the more likely they are to feel connected to school and have greater post-secondary aspirations. For kids today, the path to their futures is crowded with temptation and misdirection like we have never seen before,” said Dr. Lisa Hurst, Chief Executive Officer, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. “We are so thankful to the Guenthers, Hiltons and Zieglers for leading these projects that will impact generations of youth, giving them a safe place to learn and grow during vulnerable non-school hours. Our kids are fortunate to grow up in a community that cares so deeply for its young people and is willing to invest in their futures.”

Construction is slated to be complete in November of this year. For more on Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale and to become One in a Million by donating to these teen center expansions, visit www.bgcs.org/one or text MDM1 to 91999.