(Photos) A.G. Gaston Boys and Girls Club celebrates a milestone: 50 years of service

By Times Staff

L-R: Pyan Rolaz, Quin Kelly, Frantz Pinet, Brandon Woods, Lilvencia Taylor, AGGBGC CEO Frank E. Adams Jr, Walter Body

The A.G. Gaston Boys and Girls Club celebrated 50 years as an inspiring home away from home for metro-area young people with a gala event at the Birmingham Museum of Art Aug. 10.

The club serves more than 1,400 young people from Birmingham and Bessemer with tutoring, mentoring and a safe place to learn and gather. It began when its namesake, Arthur George “A.G.” Gaston opened its doors in 1967, instilling confidence and encouraging young people like Frank E. Adams, Jr., who would later become the club’s CEO. The AGGBGC has three locations: the flagship Kirkwood R. Balton Clubhouse in West End, the Center for a New Generation at Hayes Middle School, and the site known as the Southside Homes.

In his later years, Gaston called the AGGBGC the “brightest” moment in his career, and supporters of the organization celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in high style. The celebration, which honored the history and the community supporters of the event, featured the jazz band Just a Few Cats, and as keynote speaker, Boys and Girls Club of America President and CEO Jim Clark. Alumni and sponsors, including renowned youth advocate and former Birmingham-Southern College President Gen. Charles Krulak, were there to share in the commemoration.

Photographer Stephonia Taylor McLinn captured the highlights of the milestone event.

L-R: Apryl Simmons, Paul S. Simmons II
L-R: Jeff and Diania Ingrum, Michael Glenn and Julie Kim of Blue Cross-Blue Shield
L-R: Ralph Williams and John Porter of Alabama Power Company
L-R: LaToya Haskins Cathey, Erica Kelton, Cortney Patton
L-R: Gen. Charles Krulak and Frank E. Adams, Jr.
L-R: Sean and Gwen Edwards
L-R: Frank Adams, Jim Clark, John Hudson
Logan the Entertainer of the band Just a Few Cats