Posted on June 16, 2017

Introducing… J. Ashburn Jr. Boys & Girls Club!

The J. Ashburn Jr. Boys & Girls Club officially opened with a ribbon-cutting and grand opening on June 10th, 2017.

“The Boys & Girls Club changed me because the first time I walked in the doors, I was a shy girl who wanted to stay to herself. But over the years, I’ve transformed into this young lady who wants to be involved in every conversation and meet new people on the way. I think the Boys & Girls Club has tremendously helped because they taught me how to step out of my comfort zone,” echoed Nyemah’s voice at “Schools Out! Clubs Are In!” on Saturday. Nyemah spoke about her aspirations and experiences, highlighting the importance of both the accessible location and renovations to the J. Ashburn Jr. Center. She described the magical moments “when the light comes through,” illuminating the new library and dance studio at the Club. Nyemah, our 2017 Junior Youth of the Year, is one of the many children who are benefiting from all of the opportunities that the new J. Ashburn Jr. Boys & Girls Club has to offer.

The grand opening of the Club was introduced by Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus CEO Rebecca Asmo, Club member Nyemah, Rachel Ashburn Mallory (granddaughter of J. Ashburn), and Mayor Andrew Ginther. Mayor Ginther reflected on the importance of continuing J. Ashburn’s legacy in the neighborhood by serving the youth who need us most. With the Hilltop neighborhood identified as one of the city’s priority areas during the “State of the City” address in February, Mayor Ginther explained his personal investment in the J. Ashburn Jr. Boys & Girls Club and the children who attend it.

After the ribbon-cutting, our youngest guests enjoyed a bounce house, bubbles, tie-dying, and face painting. The sunny day was filled with the excitement and anticipation for a new beginning to the continued legacy of J. Ashburn’s dream for the Hilltop area. To top off the event, our 50/50 raffle winner was our own J. Ashburn Jr. Boys & Girls Club member, Antione. When asked what he was going to do with his winnings, he answered candidly, “Save it!” All those Money Matters courses at the Club are paying off!