• Samantha Leger

The Boys & Girls Club Natchitoches Unit Holds Community Breakfast


Natchitoches, LA – Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana is excited to open a club for Natchitoches youth in March 2022 in the Ben D. Johnson Auditorium. With the closure of the Boys & Girls Club of El Camino Real in 2018, there has been an absence of youth development programs in Natchitoches. The re-establishment of a Boys & Girls Clubs will fill that void with robust after-school and summer activities for Natchitoches’ youth.


The club will open in The Ben D. Johnson Auditorium, which has served as a space for the community to come together for many years and will ensure that youth recreational sports remain available at the MLK Center. The club will continue Ben D. Johnson’s mission, uplifting the communities’ youth by providing a safe, positive place for kids ages 6-18 to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens.


Boys & Girls Clubs worked with Claire Prymus, owner of Ben D. Johnson Auditorium and niece of Ben Johnson, is excited to bring the vision to life saying, “Thank you Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana! I am so excited about the Boys and Girls Club coming back to West Natchitoches to groom and develop our children. This partnership will only help The Ben Johnson Educational Center fulfill its mission to build community in Natchitoches and give access to social and economic success to all its residents. If my Uncle Ben was alive today, he would say ‘This is helping society helping itself.’”


A Community Breakfast is being held at the Center on February 25, 2022, to provide community members an opportunity to learn more about the Club and hear from Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Chief Operations Officer, Lorraine Orr. Lorraine Orr leads field operations initiatives across the Boys & Girls Club Movement, with a focus on organizational development. She drives significant national partnerships to advance BGCA’s mission and works closely with other senior leaders to develop key strategies that drive organizational objectives.


Lorraine provides leadership to the Movement’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative, the Breaking Down Barriers strategy, for addressing racism and inequity through a holistic and multi-prong approach. Throughout her tenure she has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to ensuring that ALL young people have the opportunity to meaningfully engage in and benefit from Boys & Girls Clubs.


Lorraine joined BGCA in May 1997. She has held several field service roles, including Regional Vice President for the Southeast Region, and her most recent position of Senior Vice President, Field Operations. Prior to her work with BGCA, Lorraine was the Chief Professional Officer of the local Boys & Girls Club in Greensboro, North Carolina. Lorraine holds a bachelor’s degree in Recreation and Leisure Services from Greensboro College, as well as an honorary doctorate awarded in 2021. She also completed senior leadership programs at Kellogg School of Leadership at Northwestern University and at Clemson University.


Sponsorships and tickets for the event are now available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/natchitoches-community-breakfast-tickets-239404183357?aff=ebdsoporgprofile.


“BGCA is committed to providing a safe space, quality programming, and positive mentors to the youth in Natchitoches. Our goal is to give all youth who needs us, opportunities for a bright future,” Rhyan Wheeler, Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana President and CEO.


Thanks to the support of Mayor Williams, the City of Natchitoches, Alliance Compressors, Weyerhaeuser, RoyOMartin, International Paper, BOM, EpicTouch, AT&T and the Natchitoches Boys & Girls Club Advisory Committee, the Club will impact youth for years to come.


About Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana

This year marks the 51st anniversary of Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana. Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana operates under a mission to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens. Serving 1,0006 children in six different locations, Boys & Girls Clubs provide opportunities through school programs and summer camps with activities focusing on Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyles & Habits, and Good Character & Leadership. A seventh location in Natchitoches, Louisiana will open in March 2022.


If interested in supporting the Boys & Girls Club, visit www.bgcacadiana.com/donate or call 337-268-9555.

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