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Anne and Tracey are two women who inspire all those around them.  They embody the BGCB mission and speak so eloquently of their Club experience and the way they care for the youth and families of BGCB.  They are leaders whose impact will forever be threaded into the fabric of BGCB.”

– Isidra Quiñones, Director of Alumni Engagement, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston 

Boys & Girls Clubs have long stood as beacons of hope and opportunity in communities across the nation, providing vital support and guidance to young people from all walks of life. Through the remarkable stories of Anne Gordon and Tracey Marchetti, the profound impact and lasting legacy of Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston (BGCB) comes vividly to life.

Their journeys, Anne as the Art Director and Tracey as a Club member and eventual Culinary Director, exemplify the transformative power of BGCB in shaping the lives of individuals and strengthening the fabric of communities.  As these women sat down in the Discovery Room at the Edgerley Family South Boston Club to reflect on their time with the organization, there was no shortage of laughter, introspection, and gratitude expressed.

Life-changing programs and talented staff spanning generations

The impact of Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston’s nuanced curriculum of programs cannot be overstated. Through a diverse range of activities and initiatives, these programs offer young people invaluable opportunities for growth, learning, and personal development. From academic support and workforce readiness programs to arts and athletics, BGCB provides a holistic approach to youth development, equipping young people with the skills and confidence they need to succeed in life.

None of which would be possible without talented, invested staff like Anne who speaks of her tenure with BGCB as “50 years of not working.” Tracey echoes the same sentiment in her current role at the Gerald and Darlene Jordan Club and they both remind Club youth to find a career that they love, one that is fulfilling and feels like it isn’t work.

“In 1971 someone asked me if I wanted a summer job. I was in college and I said, ‘Sure, if it’s art related. I’m studying to be an art teacher.’ But little did I know I would become attached to the Club; hook, line and sinker! It was something about the people here who are very welcoming,” said Anne Gordon.

Anne Gordon (left) and Tracey Marchetti (right) in front of Edgerley Family South Boston Club

Tracey’s experiences within the Club’s programs attest to the transformative power of the range of opportunities and trusting relationships, shaping her personal and professional trajectories in profound ways.  She shared a moment when she was given the responsibility of the art supply closet key, that she jokingly referred to as the “keys to the kingdom,” and the way in which Anne’s trust in her to be responsible and reliable was so important.

As a member, Tracey initially came for the swim program, but she stayed for the whole Club experience. A key component of her Club experience was becoming the first official female member of the Chef’s Club ran by former staff member and Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston Hall of Fame member Howie Bunkley.

She describes  this experience as a precursor to her whole career from being one of six females of her graduating class at Culinary Institute of America to her position as Café Chef at the Kennedy School of Govt at Harvard University that included an opportunity to cook for three US Presidents. She credits the Club for keeping her out of trouble so that moments like this could be possible. Today, she is inspiring teen member to launch their own career journeys in Culinary Arts through her Chef’s Club program.

Anne (left) and Tracey (far right) with other Club members during Awards Night 1985

“To me the Discover program was everything I loved about the Club it meant that I could just feel out what I wanted to do and focus on the things I liked and not have to be worried about the things I didn’t.  I think that that was a big part of creating the person that I became,” explained Tracey Marchetti.

How the Club strengthens the fabric of communities

The inclusive culture fostered by Anne Gordon, particularly through initiatives like the Discovery Room, exemplifies the Club’s role as a place of expression, creativity, and understanding for all members. By providing a safe and supportive environment for young people, all while fostering a sense of belonging and community pride. There was an understanding in the Discovery Room to come as you are and have fun in the space created for you.

Tracey’s eyes light up when she speaks of her days in the Discovery Room and the Saturday lunch program.  Saturday Lunch was created to fill a need of both free Saturday meals and a safe place to go to.  They serve as hubs for positive social interaction and engagement, offering a range of services and resources to meet the needs of families and neighborhoods.

Anne and Tracey in Edgerley Family South Boston Club’s Discovery Room with BGCB’s Director of Alumni Engagement, Isidra Quiñones

The legacies of Anne Gordon and Tracey Marchetti serve as enduring testaments to the transformative impact of BGCB. Anne’s remarkable 50-year tenure at the Club and Tracey’s journey from member to Culinary Manager at the Jordan Club highlight the profound influence these organizations can have on individuals over the course of their lives. From Anne’s commitment to creating a welcoming and supportive environment for all members to Tracey’s dedication to providing opportunities for growth and development, their stories embody the core values and mission of BGCB.

As we walked through the hallways and program spaces of the Edgerley Family South Boston Club with Anne and Tracey, they continued to share stories that underscore the vital role that the Clubs play in communities and the enduring impact they have on the lives of individuals. Through Anne’s dedication, resilience, and unwavering commitment to service, she has left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of all those who have had the privilege of crossing paths with her. Following her retirement from BGCB, she made the choice to continue to share her talents through volunteerism every Wednesday at the Club.

Anne with Club members in Discovery Room

In true full circle, BGCB fashion, Tracey aspires to do the same through her role as Culinary Manager at the Jordan Club where she created a culture of family in the kitchen and Kids Café.  Tracey’s passion and appreciation for her member experience lend to the way she approaches her work every day and does her part in ensuring the members have the best day each day. As we celebrate their journeys and the countless others who have been positively impacted by BGCB, we are reminded of the profound difference that can be made when we invest in the future of our youth and communities.

Curious to learn more about BGCB? Learn more and get involved today.