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March 13, 2020 | Press Release

Boys & Girls Clubs in region to close for next three weeks

Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio has made what its interim president described as “an extremely difficult but necessary decision” to close all of its 39 locations for three weeks, starting today.

Ron Soeder, interim president and CEO of the organization, said BGCNEO will re-evaluate conditions at the end of the shutdown period and determine whether or not to re-open Clubs on April 6. BGCNEO serves kids ages 6-18 in Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Lorain County and Erie County.

“We are following the governor’s prudent guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19 and consider this to be the responsible thing to do,” Soeder said. “At the same time, this is difficult.”

BGCNEO serves more than 8,600 kids in five counties.

Here are plans for the shutdown:

  • Cleveland: BGCNEO will offer free meals for pickup by members and their families between noon and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday at the following Club locations: Broadway, 6114 Broadway Ave., Cleveland 44127; King Kennedy, 2561 E. 59th, Cleveland 44104; and Saint Luke’s, 2705 Martin Luther King Jr., Cleveland 44104. Pickups will continue at least through March 31.
  • Sandusky: The Club Teen Center, 2112 Cleveland Road, Sandusky, will be one of 12 sites throughout the city serving takeout meal bags from noon to 1 p.m. weekdays. Boys & Girls Clubs of Erie County, along with OHgo and more than 20 other community organizations and agencies, will be distributing breakfast and lunch bags provided by Sandusky City Schools. BGCEC and three other after school programs will have dinner bags, bags filled with food for the week, for those who participate in after school programs and typically have dinner at that program. These bags will be distributed to Club kids when they come to pick up lunch at the teen center and at the city recreation department, 222 Meigs St. For those club members who are not able to get to one of these sites, the bags will be available at other locations. BGCEC staff will be manning the distribution at the above two sites. Sandusky Transit is providing free transportation for the next three weeks to anyone in the city.
  • Lorain County and Akron: Clubs are working in concert with the local school districts to ensure members have access to meals.
  • Updates will be provided at
  • Club families who need daytime care during this period are urged to contact local municipal recreation or community centers.
  • BGCNEO staff members will either work remotely, report to assigned Clubs or do some combination of the two. Staff members will be paid during the shutdown.

“We know many of the kids who come to our Clubs depend on us for a hot meal, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that is not taken away from them, even temporarily,” Soeder said.

BGCNEO was formed in 2019 by the merger of Clubs in Cleveland, Akron, Lorain County and Erie County. Boys & Girls Clubs provide safe, fun places for kids after school, focusing on healthy lifestyles, academic success and character.