Representatives of Major League Baseball (MLB) were in Locust Valley on Saturday, April 1, for a special ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony held at the Grenville Baker Boys & Girls Club to reveal the newly remodeled Teen Center, with renovations made possible by a $50,000 grant from MLB. Several dozen people gathered at the club to dedicate the teen center, including Mr. Met.
“For 11 years, the club has become my second home,” said Youth of the Year Andres Cisneros, thanking MLB. “I know this will make a big impact on all of us.”
Thomas C. Brasuell, the vice president of community affairs for MLB, explained that the Boys & Girls Club is one of the major charities of the organization.
“This project will help maximize the existing space to better serve our teenagers,” said Ramon Reyes, the club’s executive director. “Renovations like this will attract new teenagers and once they’re here, our staff will get them involved in activities and convince them to come back.”
The two rooms that were renovated serve the middle and high school students, where Reyes said the students come to do their homework, learn financial literacy and learn about their opportunities after high school. He said every day, the club serves 200 kids from K-12. The renovations included a new paint job, new furniture, new carpeting, a kitchenette, three computers to assist with homework and three new gaming systems.
Colin F. O’Donnell, district court judge of Nassau Country, thanked MLB and the teens who provided input on how the rooms should look.
“We’re so fortunate in this county to have the support of elected officials, partners such as MLB, community, that we can concentrate on our youth organizations,” said O’Donnell.
Other local officials in attendance were Councilwoman Michele Johnson, Councilman Lou Imbroto, Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino and district court judge Rhonda Fisher. U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi stopped by to express congratulations.
“It’s a great day for the club, thank you to all you made this happen,” said Johnson, as she and Imbroto presented the citation from the Oyster Bay Town Board. “It’s an improvement that will provide local youngsters with years of enrichment and enjoyment.”