For many years, former ESPN President George Bodenheimer and former Senior Vice President of Communications and Corporate Outreach Rosa Gatti were instrumental in leading ESPN’s unwavering commitment to the Boys & Girls Club of Bristol in ESPN’s hometown of Bristol, Conn.
Through the leadership of Bodeheimer and Gatti, ESPN donated $1.7 million to the Club, primarily to help construct a new 40,000-square-foot family center set to open in early November. On Friday, the Club honored Bodenheimer and Gatti for their contributions to the community with the unveiling of the George Bodenheimer Technology Center and the Rosa Gatti Community Room in the new facility.
“As a former Club kid, I know firsthand the difference the Boys & Girls Clubs can make in the life of a young person,” said Bodenheimer at the ceremony. “I am truly honored and humbled by this recognition, and I want to extend my sincere gratitude to all the ESPN employees who have supported the Club over the years.”
The Walt Disney Company and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America have worked together for five decades. The Bristol Club and its affiliates were one of ESPN’s first community investments.
Team ESPN volunteers regularly volunteer their time with the organization, including Vice President of Global Security, Safety & Sustainability, Michael Heimbach who serves on the Club’s Board of Directors. Additionally, ESPN employees helped to procure furniture and equipment for the rooms, design and paint a mural in the gym and wired the new technology center.
“This spectacular new facility wouldn’t have been possible without George and Rosa’s unwavering commitment to helping youth reach their fullest potential,” said ESPN President John Skipper at the ceremony. “This space will allow the Boys & Girls Club to serve more children and adults in the Bristol community far into the future.”
Kristen Hudak contributed to this post
Video produced by Josh Lander