For State Rep. Dan Ryan and his family, the Boys & Girls Club is a multi-generational way of life, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston (BGCB) recognized that commitment in a ceremony last month that saw him inducted into one of the rare spots in their Hall of Fame.
Ryan’s parents attended what was then the Boy’s Club and the Girl’s Club in Charlestown, and he also attended as a kid, along with his sisters. Now, his kids also are growing up at the Club. Add that to the exposure he got to local government while a youngster at the Club – an experience he credits with getting him into politics – and it equals a Hall of Fame tradition.
“It is truly a great honor to be recognized by the Boys and Girls Club Community and join to the ranks of former ‘Club Kids’ who attained this title mostly by never forgetting the ideals and values taught inside our Clubhouses for generations,” he said.
Josh Kraft, Nicholas President and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, said Rep. Ryan exemplified the value they seek to teach young people in their Clubs in Boston and Chelsea.
“Danny Ryan exemplifies all the values that make Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston such an important part of Boston and Chelsea for the past 130 years: commitment to community, respect and love for all, and thoughtful leadership,” said Kraft.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston Hall of Fame celebrates a tradition of positive influence and impact across the communities of Boston and Chelsea. Inductees are individuals who attended Club and have gone on to make important contributions in their field, are role models of exemplary service to their community, and continue to have a positive impact on their Club. Their stories are very different, but all start out the same: with the life-changing programs, caring and attentive staff, and fun and safe environments provided at Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston.
Ryan is currently serving his third term as State Representative for Charlestown and Chelsea from the Second Suffolk District in the Massachusetts Legislature. Dan serves as Vice-Chair of the House Post-Audit and Oversight Committee.
A Charlestown resident, he and his wife Kara are raising a third generation of “Club Kids.” Their daughters Ella and Audrey are both members of the Charlestown Club Swim Team. Their son, Myer, is a Club alumnus currently attending graduate school at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT. Myer was also a swim team member and played basketball at the Club. Ryan and his two sisters, Carla and Marnie, grew-up at the Club. Carla currently serves on the Charlestown Club’s Local Advisory Board. Ryan’s mom, Maryanne, swam for the Girl’s Club as a youngster and his dad, Carlo, a World War II veteran, also attended the Boy’s Club as a kid in the 1930s.
Ryan’s introduction to public service was a direct result of his involvement in the Charlestown Boys & Girls Club. As a kid, Ryan said he enjoyed summer camp, playing basketball and attending the Friendship Club. These experiences led him to become a staff member at the Club as an adult. As Teen Center Director in the 1990s, he chaperoned the annual Rocket Club trip to Washington, D.C., with then Club Director Jerry Steimel. A seed was planted. The following year, Ryan was living in Washington, D.C. while working as a legislative aide for Congressman Mike Capuano when the Rocket Club returned for a tour of the Capitol building. After a 14-year career in the Congressman’s office, Ryan won his seat at the Massachusetts State House in 2014.