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Together 2021: Julie Gage

In 2021, Legacy Place is again recognizing inspirational people through its annual TogetHER event. This year it selected heroes nominated by individuals in the broader community.

TogetHER 2021 received dozens of inspiring nominations for educators, philanthropists, essential workers, businesswomen, community leaders, entrepreneurs, and activists. From these earnest nominations and compelling stories, the Legacy Place team chose five fascinating people for the recognition.

Legacy Place hopes that TogetHER the community will celebrate all the people who positively impact our individual lives and our region, including Julie Gage, the Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club in Woburn.

A graduate of Bates College in Maine, Julie Gage found work at the Boys & Girls Club as its art director early in her career. Over time, as her relationship with the organization’s mission and community grew, Gage was  promoted to executive director. Last March, when the shutdown began, Julie worked to transform the comprehensive programming she and her team had always provided the Woburn community. It began with an immediate shift to virtual programming and supply drop-offs, included checking in on the kids and their parents with phone calls, and was followed by opening the club as a formal learning center. This allowed children access to the technology and support needed when many parents returned to work . What powered Julie’s fearless and indefatigable efforts over the past year? “I recall about two weeks into it I shifted from the overwhelming panic of ‘What are we going to do?” into ‘How are we going to do what it takes?’

The club–which services over 1400 members and attends to the varying needs of up to 400 students per day in five different locations–is a Woburn institution with a legacy of providing over 55 years of support to its community. Despite losing most of its event-related fundraising opportunities and the operating revenue provided by its childcare programs, Julie and the B&GC team have patched together a variety of grants, virtual fundraisers and community support to find  a way to service those in need. “Families need wraparound services regardless of composition, social standing, or economic class.” says Gage. “It was that way before the pandemic, and it is even more true now.”

Interested in supporting Julie and the efforts of the Boys & Girls Club of Woburn? Information and donations can be made here: bgcwoburn.org

Fun facts about Julie Gage

College major: Anthropology

Previous jobs: Camp counselor, substitute teacher

Inspiration: Her parents, who are both teachers

Hobby: Hiking