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B&G Club needs $150,000 - Independent-Messenger: News

B&G Club needs $150,000

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Posted: Thursday, October 5, 2017 12:00 am

During last Wednesday’s meeting at the Richardson Memorial Library, the Boys & Girls Club restart received the green light to begin operating as a unit under the umbrella of the Boys & Girls Club  of North Central North Carolina based in Oxford N.C. The one remaining step to trigger the return of the program is raising $150,000 by Jan. 1.

The Oxford branch heads units in five North Carolina counties, including Halifax based in Roanoke Rapids, N.C. The Halifax unit was a standalone unit until falling under the umbrella of the Oxford branch last year. Fundraising is needed to lift the program off the ground. 

“What we like to do is have a year’s worth of budget in place to reopen the doors,” Floyd Johnson, chief professional officer of the Oxford headquarters said. “The two steps we need is create an advisory council here and to really start fundraising. How quickly we open is going to depend on how quickly we raise the money.”

Johnson said the board would like to see a year’s worth of budget in place. Some of the $150,000 is accounted for through the County, which is currently holding the $30,000 it allotted for the club before it closed its doors in April. Money raised from pledges and grants would also be part of the total.

The Boys & Girls Club of North Central North Carolina wants to make sure the revenue stream is there to have a staff in place, cover utilities, insurance and program supplies. All of the money raised for the Emporia-Greensville unit would stay in Emporia-Greensville. Each club has its own charter account.

The final hurdle to clear is getting the revenue needed to bring the Boys & Girls Club of America back to the area. Bobby Wrenn, who initiated the process to bring the club back to Emporia-Greensville, is currently looking for people to serve on the advisory council.

“We’re looking for people that have the ability to raise money,” he said. “What we really need is about 12 people. We’re asking every person that serves on that board to donate or raise at least $1,000 a year. We don’t need somebody with a name. We need people that will actively do something. Our backs are to the wall to get this thing going. We want to utilize everybody that will help in one way or another.”

Wrenn said that even though there is no way to prove that some of the trouble Emporia-Greensville youth got into this summer is a direct result of the closing of the Boys & Girls Club, it made him wonder if that was the case.

What impact did the Boys & Girls Club of Emporia-Greensville have on youth before closing? According to Greg Hicks, Mecklenburg Electric Emporia office district manager — a lot. He said it worked wonders for his granddaughter. 

“It helped her build confidence and her schoolwork really picked up,” he said. “There was somebody there to help with her schoolwork. She was kind of reserved, but her interaction there helped her blossom. Her every need was served. The Boys & Girls Club is greatly needed in this area. It served a great purpose.” 

The groundwork spearheaded by Wrenn and Marva Dunn has paid dividends, but there is still much left to be done in the fundraising effort. Churches, businesses and individuals will need to play a significant role in the fundraising effort and volunteers are needed to approach those entities for the revenue needed to restart the Boys & Girls Club. 

Wrenn and Dunn have pledge sheets available. Pledge sheets are also available at the front desk of the Independent-Messenger, 111 Baker St.