Like many others boys his age, Richard Piendak was excited to attend the newly built Clarence Fraim Boys & Girls Club in 1972. A student at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic School, he looked forwarding to meeting new friends and having a place to go after school. “I really appreciated the opportunity to meet and connect with people from the Club” Richard says.
Remembering his time at Fraim, Richard recognizes the impact that the Club and other members had on his life, mentioning friends and mentors like Jim Logullo, John French and Frank Castaldi who helped him to shape him as a young man. At the Club, Richard says he felt a true sense of belonging. Eventually, he convinced his parents to allow him to attend Conrad High School where he was surrounded by more friends from the Club and was able to establish a sense of self. It was at this time that the Club truly became his second home.
When asked what skills he learned while at the Club, discipline immediately comes to mind. “I knew that they loved and cared for me there. It was all to help me grow” Richard says. Looking back on his life, he attributes the Club with helping him to become the man he is today. Richard’s first job was in the janitorial service, working alongside the husband, David Quinn, of the Club administrative assistant, Shirley Quinn. “The Club served as an access road to get me where I am today. It gave me the experiences and skills I needed in life to get along.”
50 years later, Richard is still close with the friends he made at the Clarence Fraim Club. These relationships are part of the reason he is such a strong supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware today. The friendships and skills he gained at the Club provided a strong foundation for him as he grew. “Children are a great investment. You know that your support will impact future generations and occupations” he said.
The mentors and programs at our more than 40 locations across the state have helped to prepare thousands of Club Kids over the past 90 years for great futures. Since 1931, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware has worked diligently to help kids realize their full potential to ensure that they are prepared for what lies ahead. Their stories continue to inspire and motivate others to use the skills they’ve learned at the Club to be great.