Who we are
- Al Bonnie, Sr. founded the Bonnie Boys Club in 1949. In 1949, in cooperation with the Parade Ground League in Flatbush, Brooklyn, the first Grasshopper League was formed, and in 1952, through Mr. Bonnie’s efforts, the first little league baseball teams were organized in Brooklyn. All boys from pre-teen to 19 were eligible, regardless of race, creed or religion.
- 68 years later, the organization, commonly known today as the Bonnie Youth Club, is even more dedicated to developing youth, most of whom are from minority and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. We use baseball as a means of communicating to those who might not otherwise be engaged.
- We are an all-volunteer organization – all our efforts and money go to our programs.
- SUPPORT, SERVICE, AND SUCCESS, initiated in 1999, is our primary youth development and support program. This program emphasizes the importance of education, high school and college placement. Our continuing goal is to improve and expand our work to be able to reach more young people.
- Our collaborations include the Henry Street Settlement., the Boys Clubs of New York , CAMBA, (Church Avenue Merchants and Block Association), Modell’s and the BID ( Business Improvement Devlopment of Church Avenue). These links with outside agencies have afforded our young people the use of their services, such as after school programs for SAT exams and tutoring. Also, a number of our players are often employed in the summer or after-school part-time jobs in programs run by these agencies.
- Our collaboration with The Boys’ Club of New York Independent School Program is a most exciting and productive program. Young people are placed at numerous independent day and boarding schools throughout the country. Their progress is monitored by the staff of the Boys’ Club of New York. The family has little financial burden as the Boys’ Club, scholarships and school-based financial aid covers over 90% of the cost. Presently the Bonnies have 10 of our student/athletes in this program.
- Our college placement program is our most important aspect of SUPPORT, SERVICE AND SUCCESS. We continue to develop relationships with new institutions to ensure our youngsters are placed in the most appropriate setting. All of our student/athletes are given advice and guidance, at both formal and informal meetings, from educators within the Bonnie Youth Club family as an integral part of our higher education program. This is especially important as many New York City high schools, private and public, lack the staffing to properly handle the job of college counseling.
- Over One-hundred and thirty two of our student-athletes have graduated from such institutions as Bowdoin, Drexel, Florida Institute of Technology, Quinnipiac, Stony Brook, Palm Beach Atlantic, Wheaton, Oberlin and other institutions of higher learning.
- Sixty of our student/athletes are now attending top colleges primarily up and down the east coast, as well as SUNY and CUNY, in both 2 year and 4 year schools .