Mission, History, Vision & Core Values



The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Marin and Petaluma is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.


In 1949, one of Petaluma’s youth was involved in an unlawful incident that caused injury to other youth.

This unfortunate incident spurred an informal meeting amongst community and business members; and the beginnings of a youth club was created, implementing constructive and motivating programs for the community’s youth. On November 6, 1950, The Petaluma Boys Club was officially founded.

In 1951, the Petaluma Leghorns, a semi-professional football team, coached by Gene Benedetti, was the first of many local businesses, organizations and individuals to raise funds, donate time and provide services towards the construction of a new Clubhouse in Petaluma.

On September 11, 1958, the new Clubhouse opened at 426 8th Street. Ed O’Neill was appointed to be the first Executive Director and August Lepori was elected to be the first Board President. On September 15, 1958, the Petaluma Boys Club was incorporated and became the first official North Bay member of the Boys Clubs of America.

In 1962, mothers of Petaluma Boys Clubs members organize as the Petaluma Boys Clubs Moms and elect a board of officers.

In 1978, the organization becomes one of the first in the nation to change its name to the Petaluma Boys & Girls Clubs and offer full services for both boys and girls.

In 1986 Joyce Levine is named as the first woman Chair elected to the Board of Directors.

In 1992 the Club completed a $2.4 million capital campaign, the largest fundraising effort in the history of Petaluma. The funding was used to renovate and increase the square footage for accommodating additional youth members.

On March 1, 1994, the Alphabet Soup Thrift Store is opened, a joint fundraising venture between the Petaluma Boys and Girls Clubs and the Petaluma Educational Foundation, to bolster funding for operational revenue.

On December 31, 1998, the third Clubhouse in Petaluma was opened at Round Walk Village; an affordable housing site funded in part by economic development funding from the City of Petaluma. With the success of this Clubhouse, in 2001 the Board of Directors adopted an expansion plan to open Clubhouses at all affordable housing complexes within the City of Petaluma in order to deepen the impact of service, which led to the expansion of housing site clubhouses:

  • 2001-the fourth Clubhouse opened at Corona Ranch;
  • 2002-the fifth Clubhouse opened at Old Elm Village;
  • 2005-the sixth and seventh Clubhouses were opened at Washington Creek and Downtown River housing sites.

On June 12, 2006 the renovated gym at Lucchesi Park Clubhouse re-opens providing an expansion of athletic programs offered to youth throughout the City of Petaluma.

In 2007, a continued expansion effort led to three additional Clubhouses being opened in school sites at McDowell Elementary, McKinley Elementary and Bernard Eldredge Schools.

In 2008, the Board of Directors approved the next expansion into Marin County. The Club opened the first-ever Marin County Clubhouse at Davidson Middle School in San Rafael, followed by the Clubhouse at the Martin Luther King Jr. Academy in Marin City (2010); the Clubhouse at The Cove School in Corte Madera (2014); the Clubhouse at San Jose Middle School in Novato (2014); and the teen CLUB at San Rafael High School(2017).


The Boys & Girls Clubs of Marin and Petaluma strives to achieve excellence as a youth service organization, driven by Guiding Principles.

Guiding Principles

  • Provide Club Members with a high-quality club experience that is safe and fun, leads to a sense of belonging, and develops the skills needed to achieve success in adulthood.
  • Continue to learn and develop practices and program models with demonstrated impact to enable our Members to graduate from high school with a plan for the future, develop good character and citizenship, and adopt a healthy lifestyle.
  • Advocate that every community we operate in provides access to high-quality out-of-school-time programs, and experiences that equip our youth with the tools for success.
  • Establish dynamic partnerships with public and private institutions locally to maximize collective resources and impact in the community.

Core Values

Boys & Girls Clubs subscribe to the theory that programs should provide youth with a Sense of Belonging; a Sense of Usefulness; a Sense of Competence; and a Sense of Power or Influence. When this has been established, the Self-esteem of youth will be enhanced.

BGCMP provides:

  • A safe place to learn and grow
  • Ongoing relationships with caring, adult professionals
  • Life-enhancing programs and character development experiences
  • Hope and opportunity for youth

BGCMP Board and Staff share the following core values:

  • Accountability
  • Integrity
  • Fun
  • Passion
  • Commitment