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Wakeman Boys & Girls Club Wins National Honor

The pre-teen character and leadership program at Wakeman Boys & Girls Club has been recognized with a Staples Torch Club Award from Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Staples Foundation. Wakeman’s Torch Club was honored for excellence in social recreation for its members, who are age 11-13. The award recognizes programs that help club members increase their social skills and learn how to make positive use of their leisure time. The club received first place honors in the social recreation category and a $2,500 cash prize.

Wakeman's Torch Club project consisted of six social recreation events held at the club for members in first-sixth grade. The events took place over the course of a program year and involved 360 children for the events and 15 additional children each week during game-room tournaments. A Dodgeball Tournament, Snowball Dance, Munchkin Madness, Kickball Tournament, Starry Night Tournament and Game-room Tournaments were the social recreation events. Their goal was to provide an outlet for children to have fun, meet new people and promote healthy habits. The project not only served our younger members, it also gave our Torch Club members the opportunity to utilize the character and leadership skills that they learn at biweekly Torch Club meetings.

Staples Torch Club Awards are presented for the most outstanding programs developed by and implemented in Boys & Girls Clubs across the country. Each year, hundreds of entries are submitted in four categories: education, service to Club and community, health and fitness, and social recreation. Winners are selected based on their creativity, relevance to Torch Club members or the community, and the demonstration of Torch Club members' character and leadership skills during the project's planning and execution.

Wakeman Boys & Girls Club has two Torch Clubs, one at its Southport site and one at its Stratfield site in Fairfield. It will be adding one more Torch Club this fall at the Wakeman Boys & Girls Club Smilow Burroughs Clubhouse in Bridgeport. These clubs are a great way for our youth to participate in civic engagement activities and develop relationships with other children whom they can learn and grow with. For more information about the Torch Club or Wakeman Boys & Girls Club, visit its website at

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