Josh Ruiz said that he isn’t sure where he might have been if he hadn’t gotten involved in the Olivet Boys & Girls Club.

“I don’t know, I might be on the streets right now,” the 17-year-old Reading High School junior said.

But he did join and on Tuesday afternoon he was helping John Gallen and about 25 employees of Ethosource, Gallen’s Reading-based furniture company, carry more than 150 pieces of furniture into the Pendora facility at 330 S. 19th St.

The new clubhouse borders Pendora Park in southeast Reading.

Gallen said he attended an Olivet capital campaign meeting three years ago and heard about the ambitious plan to raise $3 million to build the Pendora facility.

When nonprofits ask him for help, Gallen said he answers with furniture.

Gallen said that he got together with building designers and engineers and went over things like color schemes and room sizes and functions and then drew up a plan for the types of furniture needed to equip the rooms.

On Tuesday, Ethosource employees and others were moving in about $35,000 worth of chairs, tables, desks, workstations and other necessities to outfit the new center.

Retiree Brad White Sr. of Reading said that he’s been volunteering with Olivet for 33 years, but this was the first time he got to manage the opening of a brand-new building.

The club is built on city-owned parkland and is adjacent to a playground. A grand-opening event is expected in the fall.

Continue reading on