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Boys and Girls Club Gets New Director

Cory Fisher

After conducting a nationwide search for a new executive director, the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Lake Tahoe ended up in their own backyard.

The board announced that South Lake Tahoe’s Steve Conway, formerly the program director for the club, has now taken over as executive director.

“We had a very comprehensive procedure when it came to evaluating our 30 applicants,” said board member Mark Zacovic. “Steve’s strong background of working with youths and social service agencies as well as his familiarity with the community all contributed to him moving to the top of the list.”

Conway’s new job won’t come with many surprises.

He came to the Boys and Girls Club in March 1996, and worked as program director for a full year before taking over as interim director in March of 1997.

Holding a bachelor’s degree in sociology and social welfare and a master’s in sociology, Conway’s background includes working three years as project coordinator for the Kern Lifeline Project in Bakersfield, Calif., where he supervised health care workers. In addition, he has worked with a variety of camps and organizations for at-risk youths.

When he and his wife, Kathleen, moved to Tahoe in 1994, Conway got a job with the El Dorado County Probation Department as a group counselor.

“Now it’s great to be working in prevention with young people,” said Conway, who spent much of his youth in the Boys Club of Camarillo, Calif. “The club has a very positive influence on the minds and hearts of kids.”

Among the tasks that top Conway’s list are finding a new program director, sharing the club’s mission and philosophy through community outreach, assisting the board in providing direction for the club and overseeing 10 employees.

“I’m also hoping to write more grants,” said Conway. “That’s something we’re going to have to do a lot of.”

Now boasting 300 members ranging in age from 6 to 18, the club’s low membership fee of $10 a year has made it accessible to all families – a feature Conway says is vital to the club’s success.

“We’re unique in that kids can walk in the door and participate – we have an open-door policy,” he said. “Keeping kids on the right path in a proactive way is really important. Our community resources are better spent on prevention.”

Now using the multipurpose room after school at South Tahoe Middle School, the club averages 85 members a day – and it’s growing.

“Teens are the fastest growing age group in the club,” Conway said. “The middle school has been good for teen outreach.”

But nonetheless, Conway said a permanent clubhouse is the next logical step, and would not leave the club at the mercy of the school’s activity schedule. Funding, however, has been a major stumbling block.

“The school district has been incredibly supportive by providing club space,” said Zacovic. “But the club is here to stay and now we need a place to call home. Our own building would allow us to customize our own program and open a new set of doors.”

Beginning June 23, the club will offer an eight-week summer program. Doors will be open 11 hours a day, for a cost of $20 a week. Students will be served lunch and two snacks daily from the school cafeteria and will have the opportunity to go on three scheduled field trips. The board has also scheduled its annual fund-raising golf tournament Sept. 24. For club details, call 542-0838.


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