Our History

The History of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County

The Wayne County Boys & Girls Club was the dream of the late Albert D. Paley. Paley grew up in the Chicago Boys' Club, joined the military and was stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. Upon his discharge, he was able to interest local citizens in the need for a Boys' Club in Goldsboro. Through his energetic leadership, the Wayne County Boys' Club was founded in 1947. In the beginning, Paley served as director of the Boys' Club whose first home was the Wayne County Memorial Community Building. In 1955, the Club moved its home to the Knights of Pythias building, using that facility for just a little over a year before moving back to the Community Building. Tragedy struck in 1956 with the death of Al "Sarge" Paley. Even until his death, Paley's thoughts were with the youth of the Boys' Club when he asked a board member to find a permanent home for the Club. In 1957, George Dewey agreed to be chairman of a building drive to raise the money to buy the Lionel Weil home on Park Avenue from the Moose Lodge. With Mrs. James Lewis serving as Women Division Chairman and the Moose Lodge themselves donating $10,000, the drive raised $31,392.65. With Jack Hussey employed as director in 1957, the new Club home was renovated and ready for use by 1958. Hussey served as director until 1961 when he was succeeded by Clifford H. Benjamin, Troy Pate, Jr., Bobby Jackson, Don Wilkinson, Jack Crain...etc.New Paragraph
As membership outgrew the Weil Home facility, a search throughout Wayne County was undertaken to find a facility that would meet the future needs of the Club. In 1966, a 9.5 acre lot on Royall Avenue was deemed the future site, was purchased for $40,000 and was completely underwritten by the Board of Directors themselves. In 1967, a building and site plan was designed by Billy Griffin. Kechum Inc., a national fund raising firm, was hired to conduct a campaign to raise $200,000 for construction of the building. Under the supervision of Munroe Best as campaign chairman and Lloyd Fonvielle as treasurer, a total of $350,000 was raised in only 6 weeks during the summer of 1967!!! Construction of the new facility started in late 1968 and was occupied in the spring of 1969. The “new” Wayne County Boys Club was opened and dedicated to Albert D. Paley at its existing location of 1401 Royall Avenue. New Paragraph
In 1961, the E.A. House Unit of the Boys & Girls Club was organized under the leadership of George McDaniel by the Lincoln Homes Men's Club. The E.A. House Unit operated out of a four room house until it moved to the old vocational building in 1962 where it remained until the building burned down in 1971. In 1974, the Wayne County Boys Club and E. A. House Unit merged to better serve all boys in our community. Due to limited facilities and financial resources, the E. A. House Unit closed its doors in 1981.New Paragraph
The Wayne County Boys Club Board of Directors approved membership for girls in 1984, and, in 1992, the Club changed its name to the Boys & Girls Club of Wayne County. The Board of Directors and club leadership opened the Northern Wayne Unit in Fremont in 1993. The Boys & Girls Club of Wayne County and the Goldsboro Housing Authority collaborated to open the Lincoln Homes Boys & Girls Club in 1998; however, this Club closed in 2002 due to financial difficulties. In January 2000, the Boys & Girls Club of Mount Olive merged with the Boys & Girls Club of Wayne County. The Club's named was officially changed to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County in December of 2002. The latest addition to the Club family is the addition of the Selma Unit which opened its doors in 2007. Although named the Boys & Girls Clubs of Johnston County - Selma Unit, they fall under the direction of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County.New Paragraph
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