BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Boys and Girls Club of Benton County is celebrating its 30-year anniversary, and the 30th year might have been the most challenging one of all.

For 30 years, The Boys and Girl Club of Benton County has been shaping our future leaders.

“It’s really just a great thing to be able to see some of the kids come as a kid and then stay throughout their teen years and then watch them go off to college as young, confident leaders of this world,” Director of Programs Ashley Skaggs said.

The club opened in 1991, just serving 200 kids at first.

“We now serve over 3,000 kids a year. But again, that growth could not have been possible without the support of everyone in the community, our donors, corporate sponsors, everybody, The Boys and Girl Club of Benton County CEO Matt Taliaferro said.

This past year, those 3,000 kids almost did not have a place to go.

“There were many conversations about whether or not we would stay open or not. Our feeling was we have to stay open because we have to be there for the families,” Taliaferro said.

So the club revamped it’s health and safety measures and now the kids feel right at home.

“This whole situation has been extremely stressful on them, our staff, everybody. But when they come here, they can just be a kid,” Taliaferro said.

“There’s just so much potential in these youth in these trying times so we’re really excited to just push them forward and see what their next journey is,” Skaggs said.

Hopefully, the club will be around another 30 years to find out. If you’d like to see how you can help support The Boys and Girl Club of Benton County, click here.