Something many people do not know about Mike Maroni was that he was a “Club kid.” Mike grew up in Locust Valley, in the house where his parents still live today, and Mike spent most of his childhood and teens at the Grenville Baker Boys & Girls Club in town. The Club was where Mike prepared his first meals, learning to cook at the annual summer camp in the Canadian woods. Mike always remembered the time he had to paint the bleachers at Grenville Baker so that he could defray the cost of going to the camp. He hated the painting work but he loved the camp. Mike continued to be involved at GBBGC, teaching cooking classes for kids, providing food for the annual community Thanksgiving Dinner, and hosting many fundraising parties at Maroni’s. And, seven years ago Mike and Maria were co-honorees at the Club’s annual June Gala. When it came to kids Mike was always generous, in every way.
Grenville Baker Boys and Girls Club has embarked upon a $10 million building project and capital campaign which is going to enable the Club to continue to be a safe, fun, and enticing place for children. Serving approximately 1,300 children from throughout the North Shore, GBBGC is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year with a total building renovation, safety and accessibility upgrades, additional space for all grade levels and interests, and a dedicated parking area. There will also be space for community organizations, and the Club will be able to accommodate up to 300 children daily, all at a membership cost ranging from $360 annually for grades K-2, $150 for grades 3-5, and $75 for grades 6-12. Construction began in July 2019, and is scheduled to finish this Fall.
Part of the Club’s building project is creating the Maroni Kitchen. This will be a place where kids will gather every day to take cooking lessons, learn about healthy eating, and receive a nutritious snack and dinner. Mike would be right at home in this kitchen, teaching the kids and staff how to make Grandma Maroni’s meatballs, urging them to taste something new – “I just made this – you have to try it!” and perhaps even creating multi-course tasting meals out of after-school snacks. While no child will ever have to paint the bleachers again to attend Grenville Baker Boys and Girls Club, creating the Maroni Kitchen in his memory is an even better and certainly appropriate legacy.
Check out more information here from the boys and girls club!