Community support crucial for Boys and Girls club 0
Fresh from offering successful summer programming, both community and corporate support for the Boys and Girls Club of Crowsnest Pass have given staff, board members and the kids involved one more aspect to get up and cheer about.
After being unable to run afterschool programming last winter season, donations have allowed the popular program to be back up and running by early October.
Financial support has come from individual families, small businesses within the community as well as major corporate donations-including the recent announcement of a $25,000 donation from Teck Coal.
Scott Warris, club president, said the large donation was one of the main reasons as to why the club is able to offer afterschool programming once more.
"We want to do whatever we can to recognize their support and there will be a proper presentation coming up," Warris said.
He noted that representatives from Teck said their employees' families use the Boys and Girls Club and understood its importance in the community.
"One of the things I was most impressed with, dealing with Teck, is that they are quite keen on the ongoing sustainability of the Boys and Girls Club," Warris said.
Warris said Teck Coal left their doors wide open for board members and club staff to approach them at the beginning of next season as well.
"I can see that being an ongoing level of support," he said. "Everyone involved with the Boys and Girls club here is very appreciative of that."
In addition, the club has received $20,000 from United Way as well as funding through Family and Community Support Services (FCSS).
Having made the decision not to run the afterschool program last winter, Warris said the club was able to come out in better financial positioning-allowing members to focus on these past summer programs.
"Part of what the board did last year was spend a lot of time analyzing what it was going to take to make the Boys and Girls Club sustainable," he said.
Working in and amongst funding cycles, Warris said the club had to cut expenses so they were working diligently with the funding they were receiving. The Boys and Girls Club also moved towards a fee based structure to help with costs.
"If a family couldn't afford it, we made sure there's a way they can still participate," he said.
Summer programming support was also very crucial, Warris explained, noting the fact that over 25 donations came in from individual families alone-not even including business donations.
Nicole Pearse, club executive director, remembered a great summer season, one that was filled with many kids trying out new activities for the first time.
"We introduced them to some neat things," she said. "The best part of it for me was getting kids who wouldn't have been able to do that. We taught a few kids who have never even rode a bike, how to ride a bike."
During the summer, there wasn't one day where the kids were playing inside. Instead, lazy summer days were spent kayaking or canoeing on our mountain lakes among many exciting outdoor activities.
"We're definitely hoping to get more community members involved and other groups already operating and using them because they have the interest in say, soccer or hockey," Pearse said.
During the upcoming afterschool program, many of the youth involved in the club will come to look forward to Friday's recreational events-including cross-country skiing and fun hours spent outdoors.
Through grant money from the Lethbridge Foundation and matching funds from both Cross Country Canada and the local cross country ski club, a whole new set of skis has been purchased.
"It'll be good to get another program going," Pearse said of the afterschool activities. "We're going to end up reaching a lot more families, which I'm excited about."
As the Boys and Girls Club is currently working closely with the Crowsnest Pass Municipal Library, all administration for the club will soon be held out of the library.
Club staff and board members would like to welcome new board members, John Warlow and Tony Partridge to the organization. In addition, they would like to thank the Milford family for their continued support.