Perhaps no cause better exemplifies BBH’s spirit of volunteerism than its historical ties to the Boys’ Club of New York.
Founded in 1876 by E. H. Harriman, the Tompkins Square Boys’ Club (as it was then known) began in a rented basement in the Wilson Mission School, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where Harriman invited some friends to spend time with boys, offering games, reading material, and boxing lessons. In 1899, he financed a new building on 10th Street and Avenue A, site of the main clubhouse to this day. After Harriman’s death in 1909, his widow paid off the mortgage on the building as a gift. A second clubhouse would open in East Harlem in 1927. A third, this one in Flushing Queens, was added in 1992.
Roland Harriman continued his father’s commitment as a trustee of The Boys’ Club and set an example for other BBH executives and Partners to follow, which many did including John Madden, Tim Ireland, Knight Woolley, Elbridge T. Gerry, his son, Elbridge T. Gerry, Jr., Taylor Bodman, Kevin Stone, Val Carlottti, and Bill Tyree all serving as trustees. The 1980s found a growing number of BBH partners and employees devoting their time to the Boys’ Club. In 1988, more than half of the approximately 80 volunteer members were current or former BBHers. Many served as Group Club Leaders, meeting with boys one night a week to discuss issues such as drug abuse or personal or family problems. In 2018, after volunteering in some capacity for over 30 years, Bill Tyree became the president of The Boys’ Club of New York Board of Trustees.
“Our two great organizations—The Boys’ Club of New York and Brown Brothers Harriman—share the legacy of the Harriman family, as well as guiding principles of partnership and service. The ongoing leadership and financial support provided by the family and BBH Partners, together with the generations of young executives who have volunteered with our boys, have been invaluable to our success in offering a better future to more than a million of New York City’s most disadvantaged boys and young men. The Boys’ Club is privileged to count Brown Brothers Harriman as its oldest and greatest supporter, and we look forward to many more years of close association with this eminent firm.”
- Stephen Tosh, Executive Director and CEO of The Boys Club of New York.
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