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News & Events


Board honored by SC Area Council

At the SC Area Council meeting, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area was honored for the 2024 SC Area Council Board Team of Year and the Program of the Year for our Young Explorers. Congratulations! Accepting the award are, from left, Vice Chair Damon W

Young Explorers Program highlighted Board’s commitment to “those who need us most.”

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area celebrated many successes with other Boys & Girls Club organizations from across the state at the SC Area Council meeting March 22-23 in Columbia and garnered two awards: the 2024 SC Area Council Board Team of the Year and the Program of the Year for our Young Explorers Program.

In late 2022, the Board developed a strategic vision/plan to kick-off 2023 with more than 85% of Board members participating in the visioning session and taking an active role in the development of the plan.

The Governance Team has strengthened its Board member on-boarding program with a Board-buddy program and added an annual Board member Commitment Pledge. They have also guided the Board to add BGCA’s Stages of Organization Effectiveness to enhance their assessment and planning efforts.

The Operations Team focus over the last year has been on facility improvements, safety, and an Optimal Club Experience. Over $315,000 in facility improvements took place in 2023 ranging from flooring, roofing, kitchen remodel, and installing program equipment. The Team also completed their second round of external safety assessments with no major findings and only eight low-priority items. And with safety and inclusiveness in mind, the team also published a new Member/Parent Handbook.

A major benefit of the safety assessments was getting Board members into all six of our clubs. This enabled a staff priority, the complete renovation of our Hartsville Club, to become a Board priority and led to a $1.4M project to be approved with 50% of funds needed already secured.

Also, in 2023 our four stand-alone clubs received new STEM Labs and their Teen Centers added e-Sports programming. The organization’s kitchen received upgrades and secured its commercial license allowing the organization to serve hot meals after school to the 750 youth at our stand-alone clubs plus 7 other after-school programs in the area. Two Board members provided the expertise in completing the necessary upgrades, and another’s company provided over $10,000 in needed equipment.

Food insecurity is associated with poorer health outcomes, and in children it is also associated with lower school achievement. The US Department of Agriculture ranks South Carolina among the most food-insecure states, with 14.5 percent of those surveyed lacking reliable access to sufficient affordable, nutritious food. That increased 3.6% in the last 10 years. As kids consume more of the components of the meals served due to the available hot items, the BGCPDA’s menu addresses another challenge to success our kids face by getting them to eat more nutritious food.

In 2023, our club’s experienced a 28% increase in our school-year attendance ending the year serving 1,000 youth daily while our youth reported a 25% increase in their Optimal Club Experience.

A new program in 2023 was our Florence Club’s Young Explorers Program, a summer outreach effort to serve homeless youth. Without knowing where the funding would come from, the Board approved in May the effort to serve up to 50 homeless youth as part of our 8-week summer program.

If only the funding was the biggest challenge the Board faced.

This group, that is often unseen, left out, and forgotten, brought numerous first-time challenges, that had to be overcome. Almost on a weekly basis, the Board was having to make changes to membership requirements and transportation policies while accepting greater liability issues to ensure this population could be served.

The Board never flinched.

The program’s priorities will be the same as for all our youth - one that provides a comprehensive youth development program that deliveries impact, including:

  • Daily homework help (Monday – Thursday),
  • Weekly supplemental ELA & Math activities,
  • Weekly STEM, character development, and fitness programming, and 
  • Enriching field studies on non-school days.

Youth were provided daily transportation to and from the Boys & Girls Club and received a full meal at the Club, and, through our partnership with Help4Kids, take-home meals.

A video of the impact the program made on our staff in their own words can be viewed online here:

Partners for the Young Explorers Program included Florence 1 Schools, Bee Helpful Transportation, Florence Kiwanis Club, Duke Energy Foundation, SC Department of Social Services, SC Department of Education, SC DHEC, and area shelters.

For more information, visit

Our Impact This Year

  • Days Open a Year


  • Youth Served


  • Club Sites


  • Healthy Meals Served


Our Partners & Designations

  • Gold Transparency 2024
    Gold Transparency 2024
  • Advocate for Youth Badge