New Boys & Girls Club Gives Kids In Underserved Area Safe, Fun Space

Jun 2, 2021, 5:57 PM | Updated: 9:05 pm

 SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Spence Eccles Boys & Girls Club held a ribbon-cutting for a safe haven where kids and teens in the Rose Park and Fair Park neighborhoods of Salt Lake City can grow, thrive, and have fun. 

The kids and teens who live in this neighborhood near 600 W. and N. Temple have enjoyed this clubhouse for the past year but the pandemic postponed the dedication and ribbon-cutting until Wednesday. 

“What a beautiful building it is: it’s unlike any boys and girls club on the planet,” said LeAnn Saldivar, outgoing president and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake. “Every room was carefully planned to provide a welcoming and inclusive place for kids to explore their interests, hone their knowledge and skills, and to express themselves artistically.” 

The Spence Eccles Club, like all of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake, is a safe place where kids can make new friends, and feel like they belong. 

The Spence Eccles Boys & Girls Club near 600 W. and N. Temple. (KSL TV) A look inside the new center. (KSL TV)

“With all of the opportunities that the club has given me, I’ve become a really good person,” said club member Sheme Marshall. 

She started going to the old club, known as the West Capital Club six years ago and loves the new place. It has about twice as much space and everything is new. 

Sheme showed up at the club just about every day to cook, eat, and shoot hoops. 

“The club has actually helped me stay grounded, and not in the streets every day, and doing things that I’m not supposed to be doing,” she said. 

COVID-19 was especially tough on families in Salt Lake City’s west side neighborhoods with underserved populations but this is a place where they can thrive and grow. 

“It’s just very important to take care of our kids because that’s our future,” said Spence Eccles, the lead gift donor for the project. 

Eccles gained a passion for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Salt Lake more than 40 years ago when he helped raise money for the club in Sugar House. He was also instrumental in developing the West Capital Club. 

“I firmly believe there is no greater investment we can make than the youth of our communities,” he said. 

Eccles believes it’s important to support the kids in every neighborhood, even if it’s not your own neighborhood. 

“They’re going to get their citizenship and their character built, and that’s really important to them, and they don’t realize how important it’s going to be,” he said. 

Every space is designed for the kids: art studio, tech labs, gaming areas, computer spaces, and a quiet space where kids can decompress and get away from the noise. 

“Anything that a kid would want to experience, we want to be able to make that happen here,” said Amanda Ree Hughes, incoming president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake. 

There are programs to help them with their homework and to learn how to avoid risky behaviors to set them on a path for a great future. 

“This place really gives kids and teens a sense of belonging, a safe place to go, we know those hours between 3 o’clock and 7 o’clock are some of the most dangerous for kids,” she said. 

Many community partners contributed. The lead gift pledged by Spence Eccles and the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation. 

For information on the Spence Eccles Boys & Girls Club, or other Boys & Girls clubs in Salt Lake go to gslclubs.org. 

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Man accused of exposing himself at Utah store...
Shara Park

Man accused of exposing himself to underage girls at Utah store

The owner of Rad Swim in Highland is warning Utah families after she says a man exposed himself to her associate and several young girls in her store Monday evening.
1 day ago
High school teammates play in Super Bowl...
Ayanna Likens

2 former Stansbury High School teammates to faceoff in the Super Bowl

Two former Stansbury High School football teammates will face each other as rivals in the Super Bowl.
1 day ago
HOV lanes for pregnant women...
Katija Stjepovic

House passes bill allowing pregnant women to drive solo in HOV lanes

Pregnant women may soon be allowed to drive solo in HOV lanes after a bill allowing just that passed in the Utah House of Representatives Friday.
1 day ago
(Matt Rascon/KSL TV)...
Matt Rascon & Eliza Pace

KSL+: Healing in schools after Enoch tragic shooting

In the weeks following the tragic shooting in Enoch that killed five children, the school community continues to feel the impact.
1 day ago
FILE (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for UNITAS)...
Madison Swenson

Two Utah county men, business charged with $11M COVID tax fraud scheme

Two Utah County men, as well as an accounting business in Provo, have been charged with a COVID-related tax fraud scheme totaling more than $11 million.
1 day ago
Elk herd near Parleys Canyon...
Jed Boal

3 elk die after herd wanders onto roads near Parleys Canyon

A large herd of elk continues to keep motorists and state troopers on high alert near the mouth of Parleys Canyon.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
New Boys & Girls Club Gives Kids In Underserved Area Safe, Fun Space