In the late 40’s, a group of local businessmen from the City of Rensselaer realized that the City needed a place for Boys to participate in recreational activities and build their character.

1948 – A tract of land in the 500 Block of Broadway was donated by Herman Moch to construct a Boys Club, and the fund raising began

August 24, 1948 – Rensselaer Boys Club was issued a Certificate of Incorporation from the State of New York

June 11, 1949 – Ground Breaking ceremony for new Club House – View the Agenda for the Ceremony


1952 – James P. Kenealy assumes the position of Executive Director of the Club

November 17, 1952 – Rensselaer Boys Club is chartered by Boys Clubs of America

February 7, 1953 – The Rensselaer Boys Club opens it’s doors – Click here to view a sketch from opening day, and the telegram of approval from the Western Union

April 1957 – Capital Campaign begins to raise $75,000 to increase the size and space of the Club

December 15, 1957 – Dedication of new addition


  • 1963 – The Club's 10th Anniversary. Now serving 750 boys


  • 1973 – The Club's 20th Anniversary


  • 1981 – Rensselaer Boys Club begins registering girls as members

  • 1981 – Official name change to Rensselaer Boys & Girls Club

  • 1983 – The Club's 30th Anniversary

  • 1987 – Jim Kenealy retires as Executive Director after 35 years of service.

  • 1987 – Ted Diamond assumes the position of Executive Director of the Club


  • 1990 – Gordon Noel Golf Classic debuts

  • 1993 – The Club's 40th Anniversary

  • 1994 – Ted Diamond retires after 41 years of service

  • 1995 – Richard E. Van Vorst assumes the position of Executive Director of the Club

  • Cash for Kids Auction debuts

  • 1997 – Official name change to Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Rensselaer County. Now serving over 2500 boys & girls


  • 2002 – Castleton Club Opened

  • 2003 – The Club's 50th Anniversary

  • 2016 – Jessica Rowell assumes the position of Executive Director of the Club


  • While our achievements are extensive, we are committed to continue aggressively expanding our services to reach more children. With the help of all the individuals, corporations and foundations who share our beliefs in the potential of all girls and boys, regardless of their circumstances, we look to the future with great optimism.


A recent program evaluation was undertaken by the Boys & Girls Clubs to gather detailed information about the strengths and weaknesses of various programs.

Some notable results are:

  • The average grades of those who participated in our tutoring program improved in every subject area during the 1997 academic year

  • 95% of youth participating in computer classes demonstrated an increase in knowledge, and more than 50% used the Clubs' computers for homework assignments

  • 90% of parents surveyed reported that the Clubs have helped keep their children off drugs

  • 100% of members participating in our Gang Prevention Program were not involved in gang activity