Friars Club is a 163-year old non-profit social service organization dedicated to serving the special needs of Cincinnati’s at-risk children through organized sports, education, nutrition and fitness.

Friars Club was established in Over-the-Rhine in 1860 to help German immigrant parents keep their children safe and busy after school. During the Great Depression, a new facility was built at 65 W. McMillan that continued to serve not only inner-city youth but children all over the Greater Cincinnati area. This building on McMillan — located in Clifton — provided a broad scope of programs from prevention to treatment. It housed dependent youth, homeless families, community empowerment programs, and youth development programs.

Faced with the realities of rising costs and outdated facilities, the Board of Trustees of Friars Club recommended to the Franciscan Friars (the Membership of the Corporation) that the building at 65 West McMillan be closed in June 2005. The fortress-like facility, a neighborhood landmark, is best known for a youth sports program that serves more than 600 youngsters in grades K-8. The youth sports program, which has always been the mainstay at Friars Club, has continued and the programs were conducted in temporary facilities: churches, schools and community centers. The Friars Board in agreement with our Franciscan sponsors, the Province of Saint John the Baptist, created a Facilities Steering Committee to lead the effort to design and seek funding for a new Friars Club.


Friars Club broke ground on its new 3.5 million dollar facility located next to Roger Bacon High School in October 2013 and opened its doors in September of 2014.

Today, Friars Club continues to provide organized athletics (basketball, baseball and volleyball), education and leadership programming for over 1000 boys and girls ages 4-17.  All programs focus on values of respect, responsibility, leadership and good sportsmanship. These programs are athletic in nature but academic in purpose, resulting in long-lasting fun memories and friendships, teaching valuable life skills.

Friars Club programs have increased to over 1000 children served annually!

Friars Club's instruction and guidance builds healthy bodies, minds and spirits by bolstering self-esteem and self-discipline, while at the same time, reinforcing positive behavior and addressing nutritional needs.


Friars Club continues to need support for our Ron Walker Youth Sports, CISE, Learning Center, Summer Camp, and Leadership programs. 

Please help us in any way possible! Donate Today!
Friars Club – 4300 Vine Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217-1596