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Boys & Girls Club of Van Buren


May 27,1958 

A group of community leaders met at the Van Buren Court House for the purpose of establishing a club for boys in Van Buren. A 15-member Board of Directors was appointed and included Clair Bates, Stewart Condren, Ray Cousins, Mrs. Ray Henley, A. C. Huckelbury, Chairman Tommy W. Lightfoot,Jr., Basil Moody, Wallace Reed, Evelyn Roberts, Ralph Robins, Earl Robinson, John Rownak, Allen Ray Toothaker, and Milton Willis. 

September 1958

The following September, a campaign fund netted $2,500.00 in pledges and the Sophia Meyer Elementary School Gym was decided upon as the temporary headquarters for the club. Dayton Autry was named the club’s first Director and membership dues were set at 50 cents  for elementary boys and $1 for junior and senior high boys.

On September 29, 1958, the Van Buren Boys Club opened its doors with 75 boys with registering the first day. Shortly after opening, the club relocated to the Shirley Building, located at 615 Main Street.

January 1959

The Van Buren Boys Club received its charter from Boys Club of America Regional Director, Joe Soltis.


Land in the newly created Van Buren City Park was set aside for use by the Boys Club. A baseball field was also built with plans for the future including a clubhouse complete with a gym and game rooms. In the mid-1960s, the Boys Club offices were moved to a small house located adjacent to the baseball field.


The City of Van Buren received a grant from the Housing and Urban Development Agency to assist in building a multi-purpose community building. 


The building was finished in 1968 and the Van Buren Boys Club received a 20-year lease on the building, which included a gymnasium, two locker rooms, three game rooms and a director’s office.

In August, Charlie Lovelady assumed the duties of Club Director. More programs were added to the Boys Club because of the new facilities. Under Lovelady, improvements were made to existing field and an additional baseball park was built across the street.


Gary Ball took over as Executive Director in June 1974. Under Ball, several new programs were started which included track and soccer.Also extensive improvements were made to the Hank Hays Baseball Field (located by the club) and the A. C. Huckelbury Field (located across the street from the club.


Cindy Faldon assumed the role of Executive Director in 2010, previously serving as BCGVB Administrative Assistant. Under her leadership, the club expanded its after school programs, significantly increased enrollment and program attendance, and adopted new mentoring programs to benefit members.


After more than a year of securing funding and construction, BGCVB hosted an official Grand Opening Ceremony in March to celebrate the club's renovation and addition of more than extra 5,000 square feet to the existing property. The new wing created more classroom space, as well as a new learning center, game room, and office area. The addition was made possible by a United Way Community Impact Grant and by the generosity of a few major donors in the community.


Boys & Girls Club of Van Buren

1403 City Park Rd., PO Box 443
Van Buren, Arkansas 72956

Phone: 479-474-9401
Email: [email protected]

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