The Optimist Club of Gastonia, NC was chartered in 1947.  The Optimist Club created a Junior Optimist Club and purchased land to build a clubhouse and ball fields.  As the Junior Optimist program grew, the club decided to organize a 501(c)3 organization with a board of directors.  As the program continued to develop, members of the Optimist Club decided it was time to collaborate with a larger youth programming organization.  They contacted the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, knowing that it had begun expanding its outreach to at-risk communities across the country.

Although every Boys and Girls Club organization is autonomous and is governed by its individual board, the BGCA serves as a resource to connect the separate clubs.  Even though it does not govern how individual clubs operate, it sets guidelines and serves as an advocate for clubs.

In 1987, the West Gastonia Boys and Girls Club was chartered.  As the number of youth served increased and two other units were created, the name was officially changed to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Gaston (BGCGG) in 2002.  The BGCGG serves over 1,500 youth annually at three separate sites through membership and outreach programs.  The units consist of West Gastonia Boys & Girls Club, Bessemer City Boys & Girls Club, and Bradley Teen Center.

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