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Club History

A Look at the Salah M. Hassanein Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens

 The Salah M. Hassanein Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens has an extremely rich history of local people doing all they can to make a difference in the lives of young people in the communities of western Queens.  Since opening its doors in 1955, the Club has been an anchor in the neighborhood, offering children a safe haven to learn, play, and grow into tomorrow's leaders.

 The Club's story began over 50 years ago, when a concerned group of citizens in Astoria and Long Island City banded together to create The Boys Club after realizing that many young boys in the area had been succumbing to gang violence. The founding committee included George Skouras (the very first person to receive the honor of Humanitarian of the Year in 1952), Salah M. Hassanein (1970 Humanitarian of the Year), Judge Charles Vallone, and Ann Buehler.  This group, along with some of the most prominent area leaders, raised the money necessary to build a Boys Club to provide children with a safe alternative to the streets.  The original building included a gymnasium, theatre, swimming pool, and several multi-purpose classroom areas.  The decision to offer services for girls in the 1980's added the need for a second gym (dance studio).  Again, the community rallied around the need to support the children of the area, and raised the funds necessary to provide for this need.  Smaller renovations along the way have kept the Club up to date with the age of technology, resulting in 2 computer labs and a new Teen Center.  Additionally, the Club recently renovated the gymnasium and is beginning renovations on the pool, and transforming the game room into a full service cafeteria, where Club members can enjoy free supper 5 nights a week.  The metamorphosis of the Club over time is a testament to the ever growing need for services for children in Queens, yet all these years later, the mission has not changed.  Salah M. Hassanein Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens continues "To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens."

 This mission manifests itself each and every day in the 5 core program areas of the Club:  Visual and Performing Arts, Sports, Fitness, and Recreation, Academic Enhancement, Leadership, and Health and Life Skills.  Programs are offered to all children (ages 6-18) and include a full range: homework program, gymnasium and sports programs, swimming, game room activities, library and computer lab programming, arts and crafts, drama, and much more.  Adolescents are offered special age appropriate programs, including Career Launch and Smart Girls, in a brand new, state of the art Teen Center (built in 2009). 

 The facility is a home to many children seeking positive role models.  Now more than ever we must work with these children, molding their character and instilling respect for themselves and others.  The Club is fortunate in that the motion picture industry has been such a stakeholder in its continued success, and we can all feel good about the fact that our efforts are helping these children grow out of their circumstances into the leaders of tomorrow.  

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Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens

21-12 30th Road 
Long Island City, New York 11102

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Phone : 718-728-0946
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