Our History

Our History

Our Mission

The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson (BGCT) is to provide young people in our community, especially those who need us most, with a clear path to reach their full potential and pursue their dreams.

Clubhouse History


Steve Daru Boys Club

The Boys Clubs of Tucson began on November 27, 1956 when A. H. Fahringer of Boys Clubs of America met with a committee from the Lions Club to discuss organizing a boys club. Through the efforts of Charles Elkins and other interested members of the Lions Club, the Boys Club of Tucson became incorporated on August 21, 1957.

Judge Norman E. Green became the first president of the organization. On May 21, 1958, Robert Daru donated the property that is now the site of the Steve Daru unit. The Club opened its doors in June 1963 under the direction of Ray Keating and received its charter from Boys Clubs of America on November 30, 1964.

In 1988, the original Steve Daru Clubhouse was closed and a modular Clubhouse was placed in Northwest Park to house Club activities. In 1992, a new Clubhouse was built to replace the modular building with funds donated by Frank X. Morton. The modular building was moved to Mission Park.


Old Pueblo Boys Club

In 1962, Mr. Bill Merodias rented an old building at 164 S. Main Street for boxing. With the help of the Lions Club and the Catalina Optimist Club, the Old Pueblo Boys Club became incorporated on February 8, 1963. Mr. Robert King was elected president. In 1969, because of the urban renewal program, Old Pueblo was forced to find other facilities.

The Club purchased the 36th Street property and started operating under the direction of Mr. Howard Stuckey. Old Pueblo became chartered by Boys Clubs of America in February 1970.

In 1988, the old Clubhouse was replaced with a new Clubhouse in Pueblo Gardens Park and renamed the Holmes Tuttle Branch.


Boys Clubs of Tucson, Inc.

The two Clubs merged in December of 1970 to become the Boys Clubs of Tucson. On January 11, 1971, they became incorporated as one organization.


Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson

At the Annual Meeting, held on February 21, 1985, the corporation, to properly reflect to the community the scope of services provided by the Boys Clubs of Tucson to all youth, voted to change the name to Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson.

The name change took the format of a “DBA” (doing business as) and the legal corporate name registered with the state remained Boys Clubs of Tucson, Inc.


Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson, Inc.

In November of 1988, the DBA was dropped and the corporate name of the Club was changed to Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson, Inc.


Roy Drachman Boys & Girls Club

The modular buildings from Steve Daru were placed in Mission Park, refurbished and opened on November 3, 1992, as the third site of Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson.

The Clubhouse was named for Roy Drachman, an honorary chairman of the capital drive in 1986 and a major contributor to the Boys & Girls Club. Frank X. Morton provided the first year operating funds for this new Clubhouse.

Al Lothrop and the Tucson Conquistadores provided the funding to construct the Gymnasium in 1994. In 1995, the permanent activity center was built through strong support from the City, county and our donors. The new facility was opened for use in 1996.


Pascua Yaqui Boys & Girls Club

At the request of the Tribal Council, a Boys & Girls Club program was initiated on the Pascua Yaqui reservation on January 5. The program is funded by the Council and was originally housed in an existing tribal building.

The Club moved into its own modular building in Torim Park in November 1999. After a thorough collaborative journey, plans for a permanent Clubhouse came to fruition in 2022.


Frank & Edith Morton Clubhouse

Frank X. Morton believed passionately in the “American Dream.” He also believed in the Boys Club because it helped him live that dream.

As a young boy, Frank was a member of the Boys Club of San Francisco and credited it with helping him head down the right track by providing a safe place off the streets of the tough Mission District.

When he and his wife Edith moved to Tucson during the 1970s, he once again became involved with the Boys & Girls Clubs because his grandson was a member. He saw what a wonderful opportunity the Club gave his grandson and other youth. Being a very direct, “down-to-earth” person, he chose to invest in Tucson’s future and created an endowment for the operation of the Frank & Edith Morton Clubhouse. Frank Morton passed away in 1995.

The new Clubhouse, located on the campus of Doolen Middle School, opened in November of 2003. It is operated collaboratively with the Tucson Unified School District.


Harold Ashton Resource Center

Harold’s love of working with his hands led him to leave college during his sophomore year and buy his first business at the age of 20. In 1946, he opened the Ashton Company, which today has grown into a very successful business employing 300-350 people.

Harold supported the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson, declaring, “I am sentimental about young people now more than ever. Children develop habits, work ethics and desires that stay for the rest of their years. Organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs, which are run right, can help children develop positive patterns at an early age.”

Prior to passing away in November 2003, Harold’s generous contribution was used to construct a new administrative space for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson, the Harold Ashton Resource Center. His generosity has also endowed future programs for the children who are members of BGCT. The Harold Ashton Resource Center is located on the second floor of the Grant Road facility, above the Frank & Edith Morton Clubhouse.


Jim & Vicki Click Club

The Jim & Vicki Click Clubhouse on the Roberts Elementary School campus will be the second collaborative project with Tucson Unified School District. Operating funds for the first three years were pledged by a special group of supporters designated as the Jim & Vicki Click Club Founders Circle.

In addition, Roberts Elementary School agreed to provide space for the Boys & Girls Clubs staff to run its programs at their facility during construction. The grand opening for this Club was held on April 4, 2008, and the Club opened for business the week of April 8, 2008.