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Bob Torres
The Upper Valley’s Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Helena and Calistoga
WRITTEN BY Layne Randolph


Published On: June 27, 2024
headshot of Robert Torres, wearing glasses, smiling
Photos courtesy of Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Helena & Calistoga

Giving back to the community is a tradition in the Torres family. In 1989, Vera Trinchero Torres donated $10,000 to help establish a Boys & Girls Club in St. Helena (known today as the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Helena and Calistoga) (BGCSHC). Her son Robert Torres, the Principal, Vice Chair, Director, and third-generation owner of Trinchero Family Estates, has donated more than $2,000,000 to BGCSHC. In 2012, Bob co-founded and currently co-chairs The BIG Night, BGCSHC’s most significant annual fundraiser, which generated over $1,150,000 in 2023.

According to Torres, promoting the welfare of the community’s children is crucial, and the best way to do that is by providing them with a safe place to learn. He believes that Boys & Girls Clubs play a vital role in shaping children into good community members.

“It’s really a positive place for kids to go after school. We have a homework club, math, reading, art, sports, and a games room, and it’s a safe place for the kids. We teach basic life skills, respect for leadership, etc. And I’ll tell you, sometimes the parents have to drag their kids out because they don’t want to leave.”

Initially, one of BGCSHC’s primary needs was a clubhouse. Programs were run in existing school classrooms, but the club needed a facility with a gym, art room, games room, and offices for the staff. In 2005, the club started a capital campaign, raised all the necessary funds, and built a clubhouse on the elementary school campus in St. Helena that opened in 2008.

BGCSHC started a similar capital campaign and opened a new Clubhouse in Calistoga in 2017. They also developed a satellite facility in Howell Mountain, as they found it challenging for children to travel from their small Howell Mountain school to St. Helena. Six facilities comprise BGCSHC, including Teen Centers, Clubhouses, and satellite school sites.

“Our mission is to reach out to as many kids as possible. The cost is $75 per school year and $75 for summer. [Other clubs] charge $250 monthly, but our Board believes in keeping it affordable. And, if they still can’t afford it, we have a scholarship program and pay for it anyway. No kid is left behind,” said Torres.

To ensure no child is left behind, Torres raises funds and helps steward the local organization. He has been a BGCSHC board member and a part of the organization’s executive committee since 1999, raising the club’s operating budget from $300,000 to $2,200,000.

Trent Yaconelli, Executive Director for BGCSHC, shared his admiration for Torres. “Bob is one of those rare guys who not only gives financially big year after year but also gives big with his time, energy, leadership, and passion. Bob is a guy who gets involved. He cares deeply about our community and always jumps forward when needed. Bob does all of this quietly, never asking for recognition or acclaim; he simply believes everyone deserves a chance to thrive. Without a doubt, I can honestly say this Valley is a better place for our children because of Bob.”

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