Sal Billecci formed a committee of civic leaders to explore the idea of creating a Club in Martinez after noticing the opening of Boys Clubs in neighboring cities. The group toured the other clubs and learned about what it would take to create a club. On March 10, 1955 the Boys Club of Martinez was founded for the promotion of physical, mental and moral well-being of boys. The original location of the club was in the “old Safeway building” at 730 Las Juntas Rd. Joe Sanders was the first Director of the Club.
The Boys & Girls Club of El Sobrante was established in 1958 as the Boys Club when a group of parents, concerned about the lack of facilities and activities for boys in the neighborhood pioneered the movement. The first clubhouse was a small building in the far corner of the Club’s current location that was surrounded by a slot car track.
The Martinez clubhouse that currently houses the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Diablo Valley has a history of its own. This building was the original Martinez City Hall, and then housed the police department, before becoming the location of the junior college (which later became Diablo Valley College). When the junior college moved out to the current DVC location in Pleasant Hill the college President George Gordon was instrumental in securing this site for the Martinez Boys Club. This cemented the partnership with the City of Martinez, the building owner, which the Club still enjoys today. During the early ‘60s there were a number of Festivals in Martinez to pay for renovations to the building.
Boys Club of Martinez passed resolution allowing girls as club members. Although the club name was officially still the Boys Club of Martinez the club letterhead from that era recognizes the inclusion of girls in their motto “Building Better Boys and Girls”
In the early ‘70s the community decided it needed a bigger clubhouse. In 1972 they broke ground on the site of the new clubhouse. A dedicated group of parents and friends of the club spent their nights and weekends constructing the building. On September 30, 1978 the new 10,000 square foot structure was finally opened, and it is the Clubhouse that is still in use today.
After allowing girls as members of the club for two decades the club officially changed its name and Charter to become the Boys & Girls Club of Martinez, Inc. as of October 18, 1985.
In 1998, the Girls Club, previously a separate organization located in the building next door (that currently houses the Teen Center) joined the Boys Club and officially became the Club we know today as the Boys & Girls Club of El Sobrante.
In recognition and response to the increasing needs of the young people of the central Contra Costa communities and beyond the Club officially changes its name to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Diablo Valley. It continues to provide services at the Martinez Clubhouse; while preparing to implement strategic plans that call for filling the existing capacity of the Martinez Clubhouse, expansion of services into identified local school campuses, and communities between Martinez and Dublin.
On April 3rd, 2017 the Boys & Girls Clubs of Contra Costa was formed with the merger of the Boys & Girls Club of the Diablo Valley and Boys & Girls Club of El Sobrante. After more than 50 years of separately helping children in our communities these two historic clubs have combined resources in order to provide high quality programs with greater impact in many more communities throughout Contra Costa County.
Our El Sobrante club was nominated for Nonprofit of the Year for California Assembly District 15 by Assemblyman Tony Thurmond. The Club received the award on June 28th at the inaugural California Nonprofits Day at the State Capital in Sacramento. The newly appointed CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Contra Costa, Dana Fraticelli, said of the award “We couldn’t be more thrilled to receive this award as an acknowledgment of the El Sobrante Club staff’s hard work and the volunteer board’s unrelenting leadership and support.”
Director of Operations
Phone: 925.228.3896 extension 302
Phone: 925.228.3896 extension 303
James Boyce, Technology Program Specialist
Keirstan Faulkner, Youth Development Professional
Cindy Lam, Nutrition Assistant
Marina Becarra, Art/Character and Leadership Specialist