By Tamas Mondovics

During a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony for its new gymnasium, the Riverview Boys and Girls Club was officially renamed as the Sandy and George Simmons Family Boys and Girls Club of Riverview, last month.

The multi-purpose event, hosted by the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce (GRCC), also celebrated the 90th anniversary of the Boys and Girls Clubs in Tampa Bay and brought together club members along with local government officials, community leaders and members of the community.

With 18 sites in Hillsborough and Pasco Counties, Boys and Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay is serving areas that have the greatest need for a safe space where youth between the ages of 5-18 years can spend their time during out-of-school hours and in the summer as an alternative to being on the streets or home alone.

The newly named club is located at 6809 Krycul Ave. in Riverview and is no different. The facility boasts of a 6,000 sq.-ft. clubhouse that includes a multipurpose room and computer lab, game room, activity center for arts and crafts, kitchen and fully functioning gymnasium.

Thanks to a generous $750,000 donation from the Campo Family, the 8-month-long construction of the $1.6 million club, which originally came with an outdoor basketball court pavilion, began in 2011 on a 2-acre property owned by Resurrection Catholic Church.

Last month’s event celebrated the opening of the long awaited and now enclosed gym. Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy White was on hand to address the group and present a County commendation to the club and to Sandy Simmons on behalf of the Simmons Family.

“I know the Riverview community is incredibly grateful for the longstanding support of the Simmons family,” White said. “The Boys and Girls Clubs are important assets to our community because they give our youth a safe place to gather and lay the foundation to become successful, productive members of society.”

The club will operate from Monday to Friday, 2-6 p.m. For more information, visit www.bgctampa.org. The Sandy and George Simmons Family Boys and Girls Club Riverview can be reached at 443-0629.