Break dancing got actor Cuba Gooding Jr. off the streets and doing homework at his local Boys and Girls Club.
Similar stories surround other notable club alumni, including Earvin Magic Johnson, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Sugar Ray Leonard, Martin Sheen, and Shaun White, among thousands of others.
This week represents National Boys and Girls Club Week, and over 4,000 clubs nationwide are opening their doors and telling their stories - effectively showing the world the magic that happens inside.
Weve got a lot of nice things happening, said Douglas L. Farley, the Ogdensburg clubs assistant director, pointing to the recent painting of the gym floor and plans for a new basketball court floor later this summer. Weve also got the Teen Room, which is also new.
Beginning Monday with an obstacle course challenge and the clubs weekly baskeball clinic, as well as an essay contest in which members described why they liked coming to the club, special events and activities are planned all week.
The club always has a homework program where you can get help, wrote John F. Kennedy Elementary School third-grader Brittney L. Rheome of the clubs daily Power Hour in her essay.
I like the Ogdensburg Boys & Girls Club because it is lots of fun, said Hannah E. Wood, 8, a Lincoln Elementary School second-grade student.
Kassidy Dibble wrote that staff members at the club teach her how to be good.
A host of spring basketball league tip-offs, game room tournaments, contests, and special theme days will lead up to Thursdays club dinner at 5 p.m., followed by an attempt to enter the Guiness Book of World Records for most individuals playing tag simultaneously at 6:30 p.m.
Within a 24-hour period, all these clubs in the U.S. will join forces to try and set a record, said Mr. Farley. Well submit our numbers and hopefully, when all the numbers are combined, it will be enough to break the record.
The week concludes Friday with the Spring Bash from 3 to 5 p.m. and an open house alumni night from 6 to 9 p.m.
Were hoping members invite their family, friends and neighbors and stop in to see what we have to offer, Mr. Farley said.
The local club, according to Executive Director Thomas P. Luckie Jr., has been drawing awareness to critical issues like staying in school, childhood obesity and anti-tobacco advocacy in the Ogdensburg community for decades by providing high-impact, affordable programming and offering caring adult mentors that strive to get children to learn and grow.
Notable local alumni, he said, include Dallas Mavericks Coach Rick Carlisle, Detroit Red Wings Goalie Jimmy Howard, actor Mark Valley, and National College Athletic Association basketball referee Jamie Luckie.