The Boys and Girls Club of Cochrane and Area

Posted by martin.parnell |
The Boys and Girls Club of Cochrane and Area

Fund raising for the 2019 Year End Run / Walk for the Boys and Girls Club of Cochrane and Area came to an end on January 31st. In total $9,250 was raised for “The Club” towards a target of $10,000. Donations came from across the community including Footstock Weekend, Downunder Travel, Rotary Club of Cochrane and Fenton Automotive. 

Also, a huge thank you goes out to the sponsors who included the Town of Cochrane, Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre, Cochrane Eagle, Cochrane Times, Ink’d Graphics, IMPACT Magazine, Cochrane Red Rock Running Club, Cochrane Library and Patsy’s Place. 

The Boys & Girls Club of Cochrane & Area (BGCCA) is a non-profit organization that serves youth and families throughout Cochrane and surrounding area for over 25 years. During critical out-of-school hours, BGCCA offers a safe space where children and youth can explore their interests, develop their strengths, and realize positive outcomes in self-expression, academics, healthy living, physical activity, mental health, and more. 

In the 2018 Annual Report, Jill Bilodeau, Executive Director, stated that “At a glance, 2018 was our biggest year in terms of growth and expansion of our locations, programs, services, and the community we serve. As promised in 2017, our club increased its capacity while continuously providing standard, quality service to our dedicated community. 

After realizing the need of the community for a dedicated youth space, and with the overwhelming support of the community - we fostered The CLUB. The CLUB symbolizes more than a hangout place - it embodies our mission to provide youth with a safe, supportive place where new opportunities, positive relationships and confidence are found. 

As the first teen space in Cochrane and area, we are devoted to providing youth with services and support such as Life Skill Workshops, LGBTQ2S+ support, musical expression, all year outreach programming, tutoring, drop-in, and of course themed parties. We are especially thankful to the community for assisting us in providing youth with an inspiring place to face some of the most difficult challenges during their vulnerable years. We are grateful for each individual and organization involved in creating a vision for The CLUB. “ 

In 2018 there were 531 visits to The Club by Cochrane and Area Youth. In 2019 this figure had jumped to 2038 visits. 

It is very clear that the job is not done and I’m very pleased to announce that the “New Year’s Eve Martin Parnell Walk / Run” will take place on Thursday December 31st 2020 at the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre. It will be hosted and run by the Boys and Girls Club of Cochrane and the funds raised will allow them to continue to support the local youth into the future.

About the Author

Martin Parnell is the Best-Selling author of MARATHON QUEST and RUNNING TO THE EDGE and his final book in the Marathon Trilogy, THE SECRET MARATHON-Empowering women and girls in Afghanistan through sport, was released on October 30th 2018. He speaks on having a “Finish the Race Attitude – Set Goals, Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Outstanding Results” and has written for, or been covered by CNNBBCCBCThe Huffington Post, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Runners World, Men’s Journal, Canadian Business, and Maclean’s.

In a five year period, from 2010 to 2014, Martin completed 10 extreme endurance “Quests” including running 250 marathons in one year and raising $1.3m for the humanitarian organization Right To Play. In 2016 he ran the Marathon of Afghanistan in support of Afghan women and girls running for equality and his film “The Secret Marathon” was released in late 2019. Find out more about Martin at  and see what he can do for you in the long run. 


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