DENVER -- **Wednesday night, the Denver Broncos and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver celebrated a decade of helping thousands of children in the Denver community together.
The Broncos and Boys and Girls Clubs have been in partnership for 10 years, and the celebration was held at the Denver Broncos Boys and Girls Club in the Montbello neighborhood.
The branch features the Darrent Williams Memorial Teen Center, which has a statue and mural of the late Broncos cornerback, who often worked with the organization.
Rich Barrows, director of the Denver Broncos Boys and Girls Club, recalled the first days of the branch, when he was still trying to instill a new culture and expectation within the kids.
"Now, everybody understands the expectations," Barrows said. "The kids and the parents and the volunteers all know that we expect more out of their kids. They're going to graduate from high school, they're going to go to college -- they're going to be able to go places and do things they never thought they were going to be able to do."
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock was in attendance for the festivities, and noted how important it is for the organization to have ties with the Broncos.
"There's such a great pride in the fact that they are connected with their home team," Hancock said. "It is huge. And the players come here often and do things with the kids."
"They are in this building and they're making a difference in the lives of these kids."
That relationship between the organization and the Broncos has allowed for more than just frequent visits from players to the club. It has allowed the children in the club to experience things they never could have before.
"With the Broncos partnership, it allows us to do things like tomorrow we're going to be able to have kids play the mascots at halftime of a Broncos game," Barrows smiled when discussing the halftime show in the Broncos' preseason finale. "I get goosebumps still 10 years into doing that and watching those kids get that opportunity."
Wednesday night's celebration was about the partnership. But it was also about the children. They are why the Broncos felt the relationship was so important a decade ago.
"I think that was the exciting thing for us 10 years ago -- how much we believed in their potential," Broncos Vice President of Community Development Cindy Kellogg said. "And they have blown it out of the water. There are incredible kids in this community doing amazing things every day. And it's just a thrill to be a small part of it."