BELOIT—A group led by Beloit natives and former Beloit Memorial High School basketball players Michael Hodges, Ty Evans and Harvey Logan, have purchased the Beloit Boys & Girls Club building at 1851 Moore St. with plans to open the Hilltopp Community Center. The closing is set for Dec. 30 with programming expected to be available in the fall of 2022.
A new Stateline Boys & Girls Club facility is being built at 202 Maple Ave with plans for the new facility to begin offering programming in early January.
“We are excited that someone is going to utilize the existing building and that a group of former Beloiters have the same passion for providing opportunities for young people as we do. We wish them the best and look forward to partnering with them in the future,” said Boys & Girls Club CEO Mark Rand.
Hodges, Evans and Logan grew up in the Beloit Boys & Girls Club with Logan graduating high school in 1988 and Hodges and Evans graduating in 1990. Today, Evans is a head coach for the Tennessee State University women’s basketball program; Logan is a high school special education teacher and basketball coach in Lake Charles, Louisiana; and Michael Hodges is living in Caledonia, Illinois, and working as an NBA sports agent and entrepreneur.
Hodges said he and the other men adhere to the message of the Bible verse Luke 12:48 which states: “For unto whomsoever much is given of him shall much (be) required.”
The Hilltopp Community Center will have a mix of programming for people ranging from students to seniors. The goal is to be open to youth by next fall. In the coming months, the men will be meeting with officials from the Boys & Girls Club, Merrill Community Center, Community Action and other agencies to see how they can collaborate and to identify any gaps in services that the new center can help address. The men also plan to collaborate with law enforcement, the Beloit city council, community and religious leaders.
“We can develop educational-focused initiatives engaging and empowering, supporting community activities that lobby and help drive policies affecting greater social and economic justice,” Hodges said.
Hodges said the Boys & Girls Club had an impact on shaping who he and his partners are today.
“We believe that we have a duty to create and provide greater opportunities for financial literacy, education, economic and social justice while providing human resources and capital in the community that we were raised in. We want this facility and land to continue to be a cornerstone in the community, consistently influencing wellness, positive growth, and development. We are passionate about mentoring young adults and want to help pave the way for their journey in a positive direction. We want to find educational opportunities for them to develop their passion and grow into leaders and respected members of our communities. We want nothing more than to see the Beloit area prosper,” Hodges said.
Hodges said it’s important to do due diligence and work with other organizations to support the community.
“Ultimately, we want to better Beloit. It’s going to have to be done with a collective effort,” he said. “As natives of Beloit, who have been directly affected, financial literacy, economic and social justice resonates throughout our business strategies. Our ownership group has long been committed to developing and assisting individuals that have had to overcome social or economic barriers and afford them a cradle-college-career support system for their success.”