Celebrities, special guests celebrate new Boys and Girls Club opening in South Elgin

The Boys and Girls Club marked its 5000th opening Thursday, and boys and girls brought in some star power to do it. 

Award-winning actor Denzel Washington pumped up the crowd at the new Boys and Girls Club in South Elgin.

He was there to help unveil the largest building the club has opened in its 160-year history. 

Denzel went to his local club as a child and has been the national spokesperson for the past 30 years.

"We're investing in our future. We're investing in hope, you know. We're investing in excellence. We're investing in our community. This doesn't all stay right here. It spreads out, they build citizens. I'm one of them," said Denzel Washington.


In the 20,000 square foot space, an art studio, stem lab, college and career center, teen studio, sensory room and more will serve more than 250 kids per day for free.

"This is a milestone accomplishment and achievement for our movement and our mission and we are so excited to celebrate this today with our community and some special guests," said Jim Clark, President and CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

Nationally known DJ D-Nice, folks from the MLB and WWE and Olympian, alum and Illinois native Jackie Joyner-Kersee were also in attendance. 

"For us in the community, this is the first youth-serving agency in South Elgin, so we are so proud to be able to offer this service," said Cathy Russell, CEO of Boys and Girls Club of South Elgin.