Our History

Since 1944, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida has been serving the children who need us the most. From our humble roots as the Orlando Boys Club, operating out of a ‘Quonset hut’ in Pine Hills, to our current status as the leading provider of quality after school care for at-risk youth, BGCCF has bridged the opportunity gap for generations of Central Florida children.
Take a walk down Memory Lane with us!
  • 1944

    Orlando Boys Club Begins

    Orlando Boys Club Begins

    Former Brooklyn Dodger Joe Stripp, one of the last “Spitballers” in the Major League, founded the Boys Club of Orlando to “provide healthful recreation for underprivileged boys.” The Club met in the old Davis Armory in Parramore, which still stands across the street from our current Levy-Hughes Club.

  • 1973

    Growth & Expansion

    Growth & Expansion

    The Southwest Branch opens its doors at 5055 W. Raleigh Street. The organization’s name changes again to the Boys Clubs of Central Florida to reflect a planned expansion into Osceola and Seminole Counties.

  • 1988

    Organization adds "Girls" to its Name

    Organization adds

    Although females had been members for more than 10 years, in 1988, the organization became Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida – adding “Girls” to our name two years before the Boys Clubs of America did!

  • 1993

    Downtown Branch

    Downtown Branch

    This Club, located on the campus of the Coalition for the Homeless, was the first in the nation specifically founded to serve homeless youth.

  • 1994

    Gary Cain becomes CEO

    Gary Cain becomes CEO

    Gary Cain joined the organization as CEO. In 2019, our 75th anniversary year, Gary celebrates his 25th with BGCCF, making him the organization’s longest-serving president. A former Club member himself, Gary has served Boys & Girls Clubs his entire career of over 42 years.

  • 2013 & 2017

    Syd Levy

    Syd Levy

    Orlando businessman and philanthropist Syd Levy provided the funding for two of BGCCF’s most important landmarks: the Syd & Marianne Levy Service Center (dedicated 2013) and the Levy-Hughes Club in Parramore (opened 2017), our largest Club. We mourned Syd’s passing in January, 2018.

  • 2019

    BGCCF Celebrates 75th Anniversary

    BGCCF Celebrates 75th Anniversary

    Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida celebrates 75 years of serving our community’s children! Still We Rise.

    Read more about our 75 years of changing lives in Central Florida >>