Local businesses donate time and materials to renovate 7th Avenue center By Jennifer Patterson, Capital Region Gives
From left: Zac Carney, owner of Tec Protective Coatings with Troy Boys & Girls Club CEO Pat Doyle and Nick Sestito of T&J Electrical Associates in the newly-painted club entrance on 7th Avenue in Troy. (Christopher Lisio/Special to the Times Union)
Collaboration is the name of the game at Troy Boys & Girls Club. Earlier this month, club CEO Pat Doyle reached out to local businesses for help renovating the building at 1700 7th Ave. The renovations include new color-coordinated walls and electrical upgrades to keep pace with growing technological needs, including an updated computer lab and new walk-in cooler/freezer in the kitchen area.
Demolition, materials and labor were donated by three Capital Region companies. Doyle was able to secure grant funding for much of the remaining work. "All the walls are blue or white, which are the club's colors," said Doyle, who grew up in South Troy. "It feels fresher in here already, which fits with the project theme of Bright Futures, to go along with our motto — Great Futures Start Here. "Doyle went to the Troy Boys & Girls Club as a kid and continued his involvement as a work-study student at Hudson Valley Community College. After serving as program and site director for 14 years, he took over as CEO three years ago. His focus is on building partnerships in the community to further the club's mission.
Something for everyone - The Troy Boys & Girls Club offers numerous programs, including one that feeds hundreds of children. For information, go to http://www.tbgc.org.
Cristo Demolition donated its services to help clean up the building. Zac Carney, owner of TEC Protective Coatings, donated paint and materials while members of his crew volunteered their time to paint the interior. Nick Sestito, service manager/partner at T&J Electrical Associates, and his crew upgraded power to several rooms and replaced the fluorescent bulbs with energy-efficient lighting. Labor and materials were donated. Work continues downstairs after the installation of power lines to a space off the kitchen, in preparation to build a walk-in freezer and a cooler next month.That work is being funded through a $15,000 Hannaford Foundation Grant, but Sestito's donation of labor is key to the success of the club's food program, which prepares more than 600 meals each day for the Troy site and a handful of others.
"It's incredible what this small staff is able to do," said Sestito, a North Troy native and member of the club's board of directors. "I joined the board because Pat makes you want to step up and do good. "Doyle said he believes in the power of collaboration, and that buying food collectively nets a cheaper price, enabling the program to reach children who wouldn't receive an after school meal otherwise. The freezer will allow the club to store more food at even better prices.
In addition to the food program, the club provides programming for children and teens, including a fashion club (in partnership with the Arts Center of the Capital Region), a reading club, teen lounge, summer camps, drama, dance, technology, mentoring, news and moving making, sports, music, cooking and a power hour for homework. There's also a five-lane swimming pool, which could become a popular spot this summer if the city's plan to close public pools is implemented. Doyle said the club is working on new programs with community partners, some of which are still in the planning stages. "You can come here from age 4 to 19," Doyle said. "We're a hub for everyone and give the kids options, which creates a sense of belonging."
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