TAMPA - (August 21, 2018) - The Jeff & Penny Vinik Family Club at Winston Park was opened by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay this afternoon. This new, 10,000 square foot facility located at 7605 Destin Drive in Tampa, will benefit children in the Clair-Mel/Palm River community and be supported by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
The Vinik Family Club will serve youth ages 5-18, primarily from surrounding Clair-Mel Elementary and Dowdell Middle School. The Club has a capacity to serve 200 young people and its proximity to area schools will make transitioning those young people from the end of the school day to the Club very convenient for area families. President and CEO Mr. Chris Letsos says "Opening The Jeff & Penny Vinik Family Club is a critical step in providing quality youth development services in the Clair-Mel neighborhood." Letsos added "This Club will serve as a beacon of hope to a neighborhood struggling with academic progression, poverty and juvenile crime."
The Vinik Family Club is the fifth Club to open under the model in partnership with Hillsborough County Sherriff's Office (HCSO), offering the 24-hour presence of an HCSO Deputy. "This new club will provide a nurturing environment for at risk children and through the programs offered, they will learn the skills necessary to achieve success in life and flourish within our community" said Hillsborough County Sherriff, Chad Chronister.
The Club also boasts a one-of-a-kind street hockey "rink" on the property. It was a collaborative gift from the Tampa Bay Lightning and the National Hockey League in January, 2018 - as the Lightning hosted the NHL's All-Star Weekend at AMALIE Arena.
Letsos stated, "It is an exciting day to finally share this new Club with the community and particularly the members of the Clair-Mel community." Letsos remark refers to a tragic fire that halted the original opening of the Club only months from its original open date back in 2017. "We are grateful to the Viniks for their unrelenting support of the vision of this Club and the Boys & Girls Club Movement."
"Penny and I believe in bringing people together, and this club will do exactly that," said Jeff Vinik. "We have no doubt the rewards for the kids of Clair-Mel will far outweigh the difficulty of bringing this building online. It's been a long journey, yet we remain proud partners of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office."