BYC marks another first in its 86 year history with the addition of the Baker Bus. Baker Youth Club now provides transportation from an additional three elementary schools to the Club afterschool. Baker Youth Club reopens afterschool Satellite Clubs at North Webster, Syracuse, and Claypool Elementary.
BYC expands its programs again, opening satellite locations in Milford, Leesburg and opened its first middle school program at Wawasee Middle School.
BYC purchases and renovates old YMCA. Since the time BYC started providing transportation to their facility they have seen steady growth. Averaging over 100 children per night BYC was limited on space and the ability to provide quality programming to the middle/high school student. The transition into the new facility gives them the space needed to continue to grow and improve the K-12 programming and focus o building a solid middle/high school program. BYC has identified 3 rooms, a café lounge, game room and gymnasium that will be for 7-12 grade students only. BYC’s goal to provide a safe place for the students to grow socially, physically and academically.
June 8, 2015:
BYC opens the doors to their new facility at 1401 E. Smith St. (the old YMCA). The larger, renovated building has allowed BYC to grow its programming again. In the first 4 months BYC has seen their afterschool program grow from 90-100 children per night to 180-190 students! They are seeing over 90 students use the homework rooms nightly with certified teachers, serving 150 free snacks per night (up from 70) and providing over 100 free meals a night (up from 50) to those children attending the program! Currently BYC has 5 buses transporting children. BYC has 2 buses picking up and the Warsaw Community School system is transporting students from 3 schools. Once again, BYC sees its programs growing and providing a service like no one else in our community.
The Baker Youth Club Board of Directors takes the first step in insuring the Baker Youth Club’s continued service to the Warsaw Community by hiring its first full-time director, Tracy Furnivall.
In January 2004, the Baker Youth Club Board of Directors decided that it was time to take the next steps to secure the organization’s service. They felt that the answer was a facility of their own. Construction began in the summer of 2006. Construction was completed in January 2007 and, with the help of the State, the community of Kosciusko County and the efforts of the Board of Directors, $2.2 million was raised, and the facility is debt free.
The doors of the “Lichtenwalter Center,” the permanent home of Baker Youth Club, opened on January 15! The move to our own facility has truly been a blessing. Our attendance has more than doubled, averaging approximately 70 children per night. We have grown as an organization, providing quality programs and activities. Once again, we have established ourselves as a pillar in the community and “The Place To Be” for the children.
In 1992 Scott Wiley was named Club’s third part-time director. Scott is a marketing agent for Bowen Center. Mr. Wiley was instrumental in the efforts to reach out to the surrounding communities by starting Satellite Clubs in North Webster, Pierceton, Leesburg, Claypool and Silver Lake. In 1993, Baker Boys Club dropped its affiliation with the Boys Clubs of America and publicly opened its doors to girls. In 1994, we changed our name to Baker Youth Club. Scott served as director from 1992 to 2003 (11 years).
In 1926 an East coast banker by the name of Bramwell Baker, who summered on Winona Lake, challenged the city of Warsaw to match his donation of $1,000 to start a Boys Club. Mr. Baker was a member of the Rotary Club. The city accepted his challenge, and in August of 1926 Baker Boys Clubs opened under director Pete Thorn. Pete Thorn was a Warsaw Community school teacher and coach. He served as part-time director of Baker Boys Club from 1926 to 1963 (37 years).
In 1963 Robert “Coach” Lichtenwalter became Club’s second part-time director. Coach served as director from 1963 to 1992 (29 years). Coach continues to serve BYC today as a staff member. Coach joined the Warsaw Boys Club in 1936 and has been a member, director, or staff person for 76 years!