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    Oxnard, Calif.—The Boys & Girls Clubs of America recently honored the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme with a national merit award for program excellence – the tenth one it has received. BGCOP won an award in the area of Sports, Fitness and Recreation for its Boxing program. The Club was also given $2,500 with the prestigious award.

    The award was presented during Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 113th National Conference in Houston. Merit Awards for Program Excellence, are sponsored by MetLife Foundation and presented annually for outstanding programs developed and implemented to lead youth to great futures at Boys & Girls Clubs across the country.

    “The kids in our boxing program work hard, they practice and train every day. All this hard work and focus trickles down into other parts of their lives: they become stronger mentally and often times emerge as leaders, mentors and youth with strong character traits,” said Erin Antrim, chief executive officer, BGCOP. “We are happy to be recognized for a program whose staff are so passionate about what they do. They put a lot of effort into making the lives of our youth better every day.” 

    For more than a decade, the Club’s boxing program has been one of the most popular activities at the Club site, providing opportunities and services to the at-risk youth in our community. The boxing program, normally unaffordable for most of our Club members outside of the Club, allows them to use their aggression in a positive and structured environment. The boxing program provides stability, responsibility and hope while addressing the important ingredients for a successful future: hard work, community and discipline. The purpose of the boxing program is to focus towards developing our young people’s ability to become involved in positive behaviors that foster their well-being and Healthy Lifestyles. The program leaders mentor and encourage youth to become more self-motivated, health conscience, self-disciplined and challenged both physically and mentally through the sport of boxing; while the coaches provide our youth with the most advanced techniques in the boxing and training industry today.

    Each year, before the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s national conference, hundreds of award entries are submitted in five core program areas: character and leadership development; education and career development; health and life skills; the arts; and sports, fitness and recreation; as well as in the three overall program areas: Best Overall Program by organizational Budget (as it pertains to your Club’s annual budget amount) – less than $500,000 or more than $500,000; Best Overall Participation and Regular Attendance; and Innovations in Safety.

    2019 Merit Awards: Elizabeth Fowlkes, BGCA; Ashley Lyden, Director of Operations;
    Kenny Plummer, Unit Teen Director and ERC Case Manager; Erin Antrim, CEO;
    and Omar Zapata, Director of Program Services

    About the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme

    The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme (BGCOP) is a nonprofit 501(c) (3) youth service organization. BGCOP’s mission is “to inspire and enable all youth, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential, as productive, responsible and caring citizens.” Services are provided in three freestanding clubhouses in Oxnard and Port Hueneme which include a dedicated Teen Center, 12 public school program sites, one club site in Nyeland Acres, one site at a Squires Public Housing, and the first Boys & Girls Club in a juvenile hall in the State of California. The purpose of BGCOP is to provide social, educational and recreational programs to all youth ages 6-18 years old, with an emphasis on those in underserved areas. Annual member dues is $20.00 however, no one is turned away regardless of ability to pay. Over 10,400 youth and teens are served annually.  For more information, to get involved or to donate, please visit

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