Each fall, our nine Clubs celebrate Myra H. Kraft Opening Day to mark the first day Clubs open for the school year. On September 13, 2022, we celebrate our 15th Annual Myra H. Kraft Opening Day. Read on to learn about Myra’s impact on Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston and why we continue to celebrate her legacy each year.
In 1995, Myra H. Kraft became the first female Board Chair in the history of Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. Myra wanted to focus her efforts on an organization that actively reached and engaged a broad audience of youth for substantial amounts of time each day. She supported BGCB because it shared her vision and belief in the impact supplemental programming can have—not only on the youth served but also on their communities as a whole.
“Myra was one of a kind. I know that for me, she was a trusted mentor. She followed a legacy of incredible leaders, including Kevin Phelan, Russ Epker, and Bob Cleary, who were wonderful Board chairs. But Myra brought a unique perspective. She helped strengthen and elevate our board to the point where some say it is the envy of the city. Myra elevated the organization’s fundraising and had very high expectations. People always came through for her, and that was because she believed in the Clubs. She cared so much, and she knew the impact the Clubs have so she wasn’t afraid to ask people to support BGCB.” – Sandy Edgerley; Board of Directors member, Board Chair (2005–2010)
Myra’s work on behalf of BGCB was so meaningful and successful that the board changed the organization’s bylaws to allow the board chair to serve more than a four-year term. She stepped down in 2002 after seven years but continued to stay actively involved.
“Myra was a person who saw the injustices in the world, and she wanted to do more than her share to straighten them out and correct them. She had a terrific affinity with kids. She loved to go to the Clubs, and the kids took to her. She was a terrific chair of the board regarding expanding the profile of the organization, expanding the circle of contributors, and she was, in her way, an aggressive fundraiser because she had such a strong belief in what BGCB was doing.” – Jeff Jones, Senior Advisory Board Member, Board Chair (2002-2005)
Myra Kraft inspired everyone involved with BGCB through her unwavering dedication and generosity. Above all else, she loved children and delighted in visiting the Clubs to interact with members. Her thoughtfulness and compassion were matched by a passionate commitment to raising funds to sustain the organization, and her legacy will never be forgotten.