The Simmons Boys & Girls Club of Riverview staff and Senior Program Specialist Samori Hayden, along with the Riverview community, are the perfect combination that makes the club awesome for all of its children.

When Delicia Hargrove became the new club director of the Sandy & George Simmons Family Riverview Boys & Girls Club, she didn’t realize how supportive the Riverview community is when it comes to supporting their local businesses and organizations.

“I came from Plant City and I truly didn’t know much about the Riverview community,” Hargrove said. “When it came to needing help for the Boys & Girls Club, all I had to do was ask and the Riverview community was there to help.”

Hargrove wanted to have a backpack drive to help the children who are a part of her club. “I told the Riverview Chamber of Commerce I wanted to have a backpack drive and they made it happen,” Hargrove said. “They got Coca-Cola, Herzing University and Hess Orthodontics to donate backpacks. We were able to give out the backpacks and school supplies the week before school started.”

Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay serves more than 22,000 youth in Hillsborough and Pasco Counties annually at its 22 clubs in the area. The staff diligently work with students who fall into the learning gap due to the disparity in academic performance creating an opportunity gap which is dependent on race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and other factors that contribute to academic limitations.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay has been a strong thread in the fabric of the Tampa Bay community for more than 90 years. In 1926, the Tampa Rotary Club established the first club, the West Tampa Boys Club. After successfully financing and operating the club for almost 20 years, the Rotarians recognized a need for expansion and thus began the growth of an organization dedicated to serving young men and women in our community.

“The Riverview community fully supports the Simmons Boys & Girls Club,” Hargrove said. “Without the help of the Riverview community and my assistant, Samori Hayden, we would not have been able to provide our kids with backpacks for school.”

Hargrove is extremely proud of Hayden.

“This fall, Samori will be a member of the USF marching band, the Herd of Thunder,” Hargrove said. “He balances his school and band schedule all while working at the Riverview Boys & Girls Club as a senior program specialist, where he has been working since 2020. He enjoys mentoring and participating in activities with the members of the club.”

The Simmons Boys and Girls Club is located at 6809 Krycul Ave. in Riverview.

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Libby is a writer for The Osprey Observer/The Christian Voice. She started as an intern in 2009 and upon finishing her internship, she was asked to stay on as a permanent writer for both papers. Libby lives in Brandon with her two rescue dogs, Olive and Bogey.