Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana is excited to be bringing a club for the youth of Natchitoches set to open in the Spring of 2022 at the Ben D. Johnson Auditorium.

For the past 3 years there has been an absence of youth development programs in the Natchitoches community after the 2018 closure of the former Boys & Girls Club of El Camino Real. The re-establishment of a Boys & Girls Clubs means there will be robust after school and summer activities for youth in Natchitoches.

The Ben D. Johnson Auditorium has served as a space for the community to come together for many years. To ensure that youth recreational sports remained available at the MLK Center, the decision to re-open the Club at Ben D. Johnson Auditorium was the perfect option. Continuing in the spirit of Ben D. Johnson’s mission, the Club will uplift the communities’ youth by providing a safe, positive place for kids ages 6-18 to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

Claire Prymus, owner of Ben D. Johnson Auditorium and niece of Ben Johnson says, “Thank you Boys and Girls Clubs of Acadiana! I am so excited about the Boys and Girls Club coming back to West Natchitoches to groom and develop our children. This partnership will only help The Ben Johnson Educational Center fulfill its mission to build community in Natchitoches and give access to social and economic success to all its residents.  If my Uncle Ben was alive today, he would say ‘This is helping society helping itself.’ “

On January 22, a breakfast event will be held at the center for community members to learn more about the Club and hear from Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Chief Operations Officer, Lorraine Orr. Sponsorships and tickets to attend will soon be available at

Rhyan Wheeler, Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana CEO says, “BGCA is committed to providing a safe space, quality programming and positive mentors to the youth in Natchitoches. Our goal is to give all youth who need us, opportunities for a bright future.”

Thanks to the support of Mayor Williams and the City of Natchitoches, Alliance Compressors, Weyerhaeuser, RoyOMartin, International Paper, BOM, EpicTouch, AT&T and the Natchitoches Boys & Girls Club Advisory Committee, the Club will be able to impact youth for years to come.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana … This year marks the 51 st anniversary of Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana. Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana operates under a mission to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens. Serving 1,006 children in six different locations, Boys & Girls Clubs provide opportunities through school programs and summer camps with activities focusing on Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyles & Habits, and Good Character & Leadership. A seventh location in Natchitoches, Louisiana will open in February 2022. If interested in supporting the Boys & Girls Club, visit or call 337-268-9555.

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