Boys & Girls Clubs of Northern Rhode Island receives transformational $2.1 million endowment from the Davis Dauray Family Fund

Published On: July 7, 2023By

Funding will support the creation and expansion of arts and design programs and initiatives at the Clubs’ Woonsocket Clubhouse  

WOONSOCKET, R.I. (July 7, 2021) – The Boys & Girls Clubs of Northern Rhode Island (BGCNRI) announced today it has received a $2.1 million endowment from the Davis Dauray Family Fund, the largest philanthropic gift BGCNRI has received in its more than 65-year history serving Rhode Island youth and families.  

The $2.1 million grant, gifted by California-based philanthropists Alan Davis and Mary Lou Dauray, has been placed in a restricted fund known as The Charles and Lucille Dauray Endowment, named in memory of Mary Lou’s parents, and will benefit the Club every year in perpetuity. The funding will be earmarked to support the creation and expansion of arts, design and cultural programs and initiatives at BGCNRI’s Woonsocket Clubhouse. This is the first time the Davis Dauray Family Fund has ever donated to a Boys & Girls Club organization.  

“I am thrilled to be able to help provide additional resources to the art mentoring program for young people at the Boys and Girls Club of Woonsocket,” said Mary Lou Dauray. “I grew up in Woonsocket when this city was a leader in the textile industry of which my parents Charles and Lucille Dauray were a part. This seems like a perfect way to honor them: a gift that can foster creativity and personal and artistic growth in the community.”   

“As a Club kid, past president, and lifelong supporter of the mission of the Boys & Girls Club, I’ve seen firsthand the positive, long-lasting impact of investing in our youth and showing them we care,” said Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee. “This generous grant will help the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northern Rhode Island inspire innovation and allow our young people to unleash their creative potential. The arts are crucial not only to our young people and their personal growth, but also to the fabric and vibrancy of our communities. I thank the Davis Dauray Family Fund for their investment in our children and their future.”  

This gift will fund several new initiatives, significantly increase BGCNRI’s reach in the community, create multiple partnership opportunities, and create an art director role within the organization.   

“We are floored and incredibly grateful to Mary Lou and Alan for their generous gift to our organization and to the entire city of Woonsocket,” said Bonnie Piekarski, Community Engagement Coordinator, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northern Rhode Island. “Arts education is an essential part of a child’s development. With this funding, we will have an extraordinary opportunity to provide the youth we serve with safe outlets to express themselves, as well as the ability to showcase art that is representative and inclusive to the ever-changing landscape of our community.”  

“We are so appreciative of this extremely generous gift from Mary Lou and Alan to fund the Dauray Youth Arts Initiative in Woonsocket. These programs allow our youth to grow and develop as individuals, as well as express themselves through safe and constructive means while using the Arts to find their voices and passions,” said Gary Rebelo, President and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northern Rhode Island. “I would also like to thank Marissa Tuccelli, our Chief Development Officer along with her outstanding team, and Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt for her continued advocacy of BGCNRI’s youth and programming.”  

Some of the programs The Charles and Lucille Dauray Endowment will support include:  

  • Hiring an Art Director, a new position at BGCNRI, which will be responsible for cultivating and organizing community outreach events, as well as leading in-house arts and design programs.  
  • Expanding the Clubs’ Drama – Set Design Program where youth are directly responsible for researching and creating all of the set back-drops and any required items that need to be painted or built for the performance.   
  • Expanding the Clubs’ Visual Arts Program which for years has served as an introduction to art education for hundreds of local youth – providing opportunities to create and display their work to be seen by the peers, parents and neighbors across the city.    
  • Expanding the Clubs’ Healing HeArts Program, a structured art therapy program for members that offers painting classes to many individuals with different abilities and at different stages.  
  • Expanding the Clubs’ Photography Program which is designed to help members go beyond snapshots and develop skills to take photographs that impact the viewer.   
  • Introduce a Family Paint Night Program which will bring our members together with their families for a fun night of artistic expression.  

“By participating in arts programs at the Club, I was able to express myself in a way I couldn’t with words. It sometimes feels like our voices are silenced, but in art we can be as loud as we want,” said Callie, age 12, a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northern Rhode Island. “I’m so happy that these programs will be made available to more kids like me.”  

The $2.1 million endowment comes in the final stages of BGCNRI’s effort to open a new and fully renovated Woonsocket Clubhouse, located at 600 Social Street. Once complete, the Clubhouse will encompass 34,000 square feet and allow BGCNRI to serve as many as 500 youth per day, roughly three times the capacity as its current Clubhouse on Kendrick Avenue.   

BGCNRI, which includes the Cumberland-Lincoln and Woonsocket Clubhouses, serves 5,500 youth annually through Child Care and Athletics Programs and Teen Centers. In the past three years, 100% of High School Seniors who were active members of the Woonsocket and Cumberland Clubhouse graduated high school.   

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