Featured / Local

PSP writer does good

Featured image: Michael Long

On Thursday, an emotional Shane Victorino was the distinguished guest at the re-opening ceremony for the Nicetown Boys & Girls Club, now officially called the Shane Victorino Nicetown Boys & Girls Club in honor of the financial contributions the Phillies centerfielder made toward the facility’s renovation.

What does this have to do with Philly soccer, you might ask?

PSP writer Eli Pearlman-Storch was the project architect for the renovations.

All of the PSP writers and photographers, whose work we hope you enjoy everyday, are unpaid volunteers who have real jobs when they aren’t covering Philadelphia soccer. In addition to their real jobs, many of the contributors are are also involved in volunteer work, from working as administrators of the Casa League and running teams to organizing annual art projects and community fundraisers.

Sometimes one of us finds our real job dovetailing with that spirit of community engagement.

The Shane Victorino Nicetown Boys & Girls Club, located at 4000 Clarissa Street across the street from Simon Gratz High School, was originally designed by renowned Philadelphia architect Frank Miles Day in 1906 and was one of the original 53 clubs that banded together to form a national Boys and Girls Clubs of America. With only one substantial renovation since its construction, and that in the 1970s, the building needed major repairs and was in danger of being shut down.

Eli, in grey, explains some of the renovation plans to Shane and Melissa Victorino.

Cue Shane Victorino.

Around the same time as planning for the renovation was getting underway, Victorino and his wife Melissa founded the Shane Victorino Foundation. Looking for an organization to partner with locally, the Victorino’s chose the Boys & Girls Club of Philadelphia. The foundation pledged $1 million to the renovation.

Victorino recently told the Philadelphia Inquirer, “[W]hen I was a kid, I would go to Boys and Girls Clubs, and I saw how kids benefited from them. Some of these kids come from very low-income families, and I thought it was important they have somewhere to go. When we contacted Philadelphia and asked about areas that needed the most help, the Nicetown Boys and Girls Club was among those that needed the most help. The building was going to get shut down so we decided to put money into it so we could keep it going.”

Eli said of the work that was done on the building, “Our renovation replaced all systems including electrical, plumbing and mechanical. The building is now fully sprinklered and 100% handicapped accessible.”

In addition to the extremely generous donation provided by the Shane Victorino Foundation, other donations have included new computers from the LeBron James Family Foundation, a new technology center from Dow Chemical, new flooring from Regupol America, and a new playground from Disney.

The community playground will be constructed on site this Saturday with the help of volunteers.

In all, the facility features 16,000 square feet to serve some 300 kids daily. Victorino said at the opening ceremony, “Hopefully one day someone will say Shane Victorino made an impact in my life and that’s more than just giving them someplace to go.”

The PSP is proud that one of our own played a part in making it happen.


  1. Way to go Eli, Great job for a great cause!

  2. Nice work Eli! Do you wear your hard hat when your writing one of your rants? 🙂

  3. Your friends in 119 are so proud of you! Great job!

  4. Hmm…Ive been thinking of renovating my basement..are you thinking of taking on any pro bono work? Hah! Good Work!!!

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