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 are 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 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 increasing 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 Club 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 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 to better reflect the
membership that it was serving.
Groundbreaking of New Facility in 2001 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 County. 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.
Since the club moved into its current facility (1551 MSH Northgate Road), the Club has experienced even more tremendous growth. The Club now averages over 300 children per day and has over 2600 total members. The Club offers over 80 different programs, activities and special events throughout the calendar year and has an operating budget of over $450,000 per fiscal year. The Club also has over 400 volunteers per year.
After 38 years of service to the Club, Ray Black, Jr. retired August 16, 2018. On August 16, 2018, hired its first female Director, Brandi Poling.
Message from the Executive Director, Brandi Poling
For over 60 years, our mission has been to give the youth a sense of hope, belonging, and purpose, as well as the skills they need to overcome life's challenges and give back to their community. The Lide White Memorial Boys & Girls Club has become a trusted resource that allows youths to participate in positive programming rather than being left home alone or engaging in activities that are counter-productive for them and the community. We know that when we work as one, we can move young people and families forward. Our work with young people, especially those who need us most, is the focus of all of our efforts. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our dedicated Board of Directors, Donors, and Community Partners for helping us move forward each and every day. To our dedicated Youth Development Staff, you are the difference makers, the difference makers who make this organization the most valuable source in this community. The efforts you put forth do not go unnoticed, and are truly appreciated.
The Club continues to expand and grow its programs, membership, and budget to help serve its mission and to help its children to "BE GREAT"!!!