MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee Boys and Girls Club is closing, leaving parents scrambling. Many said they had no idea this was about to happen.
The below letter was sent to parents and guardians of members of the Daniels-Mardak Boys and Girls Club, located near 35th and Hampton:
Dear Daniels-Mardak Families,
The Daniels-Mardak Boys & Girls Club will close permanently following the last day of its summer program on Friday, August 25.
It has been our privilege to provide structured programming, meals, positive role models and a safe space to local youth for more than a decade within the walls of Daniels-Mardak. We understand many families count on Boys & Girls Clubs for affordable and inspirational afterschool programs. Though Daniels-Mardak is closing, we want you to know Boys & Girls Clubs is offering the same programs your family has enjoyed over the years at 47 different locations in Milwaukee during the 2017-2018 school year.
Please refer to our locations page for a complete list of Boys & Girls Clubs’ locations that will be open during the coming school year. Please note, the locations closest to the Daniels-Mardak Club are Barack Obama, Milwaukee Collegiate Academy, Carson Academy and Marvin E. Pratt. Like Daniels-Mardak, each of these sites offer meals, academic support, character and leadership programs, structured athletics, and fun, age-appropriate activities. With so many locations throughout the city, we hope your family finds a Club near your home, school or place of employment where your child(ren) can continue to be part of the Boys & Girls Clubs family.
We are committed to helping families work through this transition, so we have created office hours with the Daniels-Mardak Club staff when they will be available to answer your questions, help you find the Boys & Girls Clubs location that is the best fit for your family and assist you with fast-tracking your membership for the Club of your choosing. Office hours will be offered Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. the weeks of Aug. 14 and Aug. 21.
We apologize for any inconvenience the closing of Daniels-Mardak may cause your family. It has been a privilege to serve your family, and we hope to continue to serve you at one of our other Club locations.
If you have any questions regarding the Daniels-Mardak closing or other membership opportunities, please contact Kimberly Walker at 414-267-8100.
Kimberly R. Walker
Chief Operations Officer
The Daniels-Mardak Boys and Girls Club serves 300 children each day. It's closing permanently, and some parents said they just found out on Wednesday, August 16th. Boys and Girls Clubs officials are working to ease their fears.
"I saw it on social media, and I said 'is this for real?'" Danielle Hall said.
"Permanently closing on August 25th. Really?" a parent said.
"They just threw the paper to me and didn't explain anything in it," a parent said.
The doors are set to close just as a new school year gets underway -- and parents are scrambling.
"I don't know. I'm going to try and find other places, but this is kind of a short notice," a parent said.
Vincent Lyles, president and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee said they're closing the club that's been open since 2004 due to an issue with their lease. Boys and Girls Club officials are encouraging parents not to worry.
We've been working through this for awhile, and we were at a point now where we are figuring out what's next, and again -- kids first. We have 49 locations in the fall, so there is plenty of room, plenty of clubs and we have a great staff," Lyles said.
The organization is extending office hours and working to help parents find new clubs for their kids.
"In our minds, it's really about looking out for the kids, and we want to make sure those kids who are currently attending Daniels-Mardak Club have a place to go," Lyles said.
Staff members are being relocated to other clubs.
If your family is being impacted by this closure, Boys and Girls Club officials will work with you. You can call them at 414-267-8100 or stop by one of their clubs.