The Vision of Mrs. Jane C. Walker

Since 1990, Boys & Girls Clubs of East Alabama (formerly known as Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Lee County) has been in the forefront of youth development. Our clubhouses seek to enrich the lives of girls and boys in ways that other agencies are unable to.

In 1989, Mrs. Jane C. Walker spearheaded the effort to create a local Boys & Girls Club organization. Joining Mrs. Walker in mobilizing community citizens to establish a prevention program for youth in Lee County were Joan Blackmon, a Social Worker with Auburn Housing Authority, Frances Capps-Palmer, a Counselor with Opelika City Schools and her husband Tommy Palmer, a Boys Club Alumnus from Jacksonville, Florida.  As a result of their vision, in June 1990, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Lee County was chartered by Boys & Girls Clubs of America, opening Club units in Auburn and Opelika. The Opelika Unit was housed in the old Darden High School building and the Auburn Unit was housed in the Boykin Community Center.

The first Founders’ Club Breakfast chaired by Cal James was held at Diversified Products Corporation raising $60,000 to support the Boys & Girls Clubs. Boys & Girls Clubs of America appropriated a $30,000 grant for the establishment of the local Clubs. Under the leadership of Charles Potter, Executive Director and Selena Daniel, Housing Manager of Opelika Housing Authority, a HUD grant was secured to build a new Club facility in Opelika. The Club was named the “Potter-Daniel Unit” in honor of Mr. Potter & Mrs. Daniel.

In 1991 the Clubs served 400 youth and by 1999 that number had grown to 1,400. Over the years, more than 6,000 youth annually have been served in two Club clubs, schools, and outreach programs.

Boys & Girls Clubs of East Alabama has been recognized by Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Alabama Area Council with Honor Awards for Program Excellence in the areas of Education & Career Development, Character & Leadership Development and the Arts.

Mrs. Walker served as the first President of the Board of Directors for the organization. It is because of her vision for the youth of our community that the lives of thousands of young people have been impacted by our Clubs.

Mrs. Wanda Lewis served as Executive Director for the organization for 22 years before her retirement in 2019, at which time current President & CEO Richard B. Curry, Jr. joined the team.

In 2022, the organization officially changed its name to Boys & Girls Clubs of East Alabama to drastically accelerate growth to meet the growing needs of young people in surrounding communities.

Pictured Above: Mr. Richard B. Curry, Jr & Mrs. Wanda Lewis