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Gloucester B&G Club provides safe place for kids, plenty of activities

Housed in a 40,000-square-foot building on the west side of the Hayes Shopping Court, the Boys and Girls Club of Gloucester sometimes goes unnoticed. “We’ve been here 13 years, and a lot of people still don’t know we’re here,” said club director Gary Rippel. 

The shopping center has Route 17 frontage, but the club owns its building and is not associated with the leased shopping center spaces, Rippel said. Being independent from the shopping center, the club cannot have signage on Route 17 that would increase its visibility to passersby.

Despite the lack of visibility, Rippel said the club has more than 260 registered members and a daily attendance average of 150 to 155 children, one of the highest daily averages among the 14 clubs associated with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula. 

“We’re continually growing and currently have the highest daily average we’ve had since opening,” said Rippel, adding that ...

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