The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

Blair Rasmussen: The Man Behind The Improved Boys and Girls Club

Maddie Gaspers

Blair Rasmussen saw a need for a non-competitive sports environment for Mercer Island’s youth and helped create a revitalized Boys and Girls Club in 2004.

Coming from a competitive sports background, Rasmussen identified that The Boys and Girls Club on Mercer Island had a limited amount of space and resources.

Rasmussen proposed the idea of making a sports facility that was more centered around recreational sports and activities. Later, he decided to pair up with The Boys and Girls Club.

“We had a serious lack of facilities to support both the select boys and girls basketball,” Rasmussen said. Rasmussen dreamed of making a space for recreational programs so kids who didn’t want to do select sports could still play. 

Rasmussen also wanted kids to be able to make bonds with adults other than parents.

“I’m a big believer that kids need adults other than their parents to have meaningful roles in their lives and you get it with teachers, you get it with counselors, but you also get it with coaches,” Rasmussen said. “I just thought we were starting to miss the boat.”

Many Mercer Island residents supported the idea by donating to help with the construction costs. Through fundraising and contributions, the project raised $15 million.

“We had a lot of people who donated $100,000, we had a bunch of people who donated a quarter of a million dollars, and we had one donation that was almost $2 million dollars,” Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen and his partners wanted a facility that was more accessible for kids who weren’t involved in competitive sports but still enjoyed playing them.

“I always used the term ‘we need to build a bigger sandbox,’ but in addition to a bigger sandbox, we had to do a better job of playing in the sandbox.” 

For Rasmussen’s ideal project, the original Boys and Girls Club building would be too small for the number of people that would go to it. 

“The Boys and Girls Club got involved because they were trying to renovate the building down on West Mercer Way, and I guess the site was way too small, the building was bad, you know the cost of renovating the building and getting anything out of it, you weren’t gonna,” Rasmussen said.

The current Mercer Island Boys and Girls Club might not exist without Rasmussen, who had the idea to create it. To show appreciation for the work Rasmussen has done on behalf of the Mercer Island youth, there is a plaque at the front entrance with his name.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Maddie Gaspers
Maddie Gaspers, Photography Editor
Maddie Gaspers (she/her) is a junior at MIHS and is the photography editor for The Islander. She enjoys reading, listening to music and taking photos in her free time. Outside of school, she plays tennis and loves hanging out with her friends.

Comments (0)

All The MIHS Islander Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *