The Madison Foundation for Youth was founded in 1954 by a group of local businessmen to provide a place for guidance and direction to the boys in the community. A Board of Directors was formed and $10,000 was raised to assist in the hiring of an Executive Director, Mr. Arno Walker. The top floor of Crystal Beach House was rented for the operation of the local club’s first site serving 212 boys in its’ first full year of operation.
In 1955, membership had grown to 300 members with the hiring of its’ second Executive Director, Mr. Edward Glamkowski. During Mr. Glamkowski’s tenure, the Club’s name was changed to the Lide White Boys Club in honor of retired educator, Miss Lide White to honor her for her pre-Boys Club efforts of guidance and direction given to the local boys in downtown Madison, Indiana.
In September of 1957, the Club hired its’ third Executive Director, Mr. John H. Paul. Mr. Paul, best known as “J.P.”, saw tremendous growth and changes during his tenure, from 1957 – 1984. During this time, the Club experienced tremendous growth from 300 to over 1,000 members; programs increased from about 10 to 25 programs, special events, and activities; and the annual operating budget grew from $12,000 per year to over $70,000 per year. Also during this time, the Club began a “Capital Fund Raising” effort to build a brand new facility to better accommodate the increased membership and programs. In 1965, efforts were made to raise $110,000.00 to help build a brand new 14,000 square foot facility at 601 West First Street in downtown Madison and in November of 1968, the Club was re-located. It was also during this time that Miss Lide White passed away and the Club was re-named the Lide White Memorial Boys Club in 1967.
On January 1, 1984, the Club hired its’ 4th Executive Director, Ray Black, Jr. upon J.P.’s retirement of 27 years of service to Boys Clubs of America. The Club has experienced some major changes during Black’s era as the Club has continued growth in membership (up to 1,400 members per year); the annual operating budget has grown to over $200,000.00 per year; programs, activities, and special events have grown to over 40 per year. In 1989, the Club changed its’ name and mission to the Lide White Memorial Boys & Girls Club as the Club aligned itself to the national, parent organization, Boys & Girls Club of America and to better reflect the membership that it was serving.
In May of 2000, the Club sold its’ facility and property at 601 W. First Street in downtown Madison to the State of Indiana and the Lanier Home Historical Society. Ground was broken in March of 2001 at 1551 M.S.H. Northgate Road, next to the Rucker Sports Complex. The marriage of facilities brought the 26,000 square foot Lide White Memorial Boys & Girls Club/ Family & Community Center next to the largest sports complex in Jefferson Count. The new Boys & Girls Club features a full size, High-School regulation, hardwood basketball court, which breaks down into 2 cross courts (with goals that lower to 8′), an indoor volleyball court, an indoor tennis court, a walking track, an indoor batting cage (for baseball and softball), an aerobics/weight-lifting room, a racquetball/handball court, wrestling mats and mat hoist, an outdoor basketball court, outside sand volleyball court, and a picnic area. The REC (Recreation and Education Center) side of the building offers 2 large gamesroom areas with pool tables, foosball tables, nok-hockey tables, bumper pool tables, air hockey, and other board games, a 14 station computer lab, a theater-style TV room, an activities room, an arts & crafts room, a concessions stand, a teaching kitchen, locker/shower/ restrooms for men & women, a video arcade room, a library, a teen room, offices, conference room, and storage room. The building was opened on Monday, January 7, 2002 and continues its’ Boys & Girls Club mission, but expands to serve adults, families and senior citizens.
The new facility will continue its mission of providing programs and service to the youth of Madison, Jefferson County, and the surrounding communities but it will also expand its membership to adults, families, and senior citizens.