Leaders from the Boys & Girls Club of Pickens County stand beside an artist rendering of their new Youth Center to be built at Roper Park. B&G needs $500,000 to break ground after already raising $1.7 Million to serve pre-teens and teens through the center. The B&G leaders at Rotary Club are: Michele Brackin, B&G executive director; Don Russell, B&G founder; and Ron Thompson, past board chair.
By Max Caylor
Boys & Girls Club publicity
“The teens of Pickens County need a place of hope where they can experience life enhancing programs and develop academically,” stated Boys & Girls Club founder Don Russell speaking to Rotarians. Teens would have their own area in the Boys & Girls Club new $2.3 million facility at Roper Park with land donated by the county.
“Today we serve 125 children and youth from elementary through middle school but do not have a much needed teen program. We can double our success supporting 250 students with the new teen center,” added Russell.
The new building would house both pre-teen and teens in their own areas including art programs, technology stations, learning centers and a gym or multipurpose building. Power Hour is a B&G session which helps students do their daily homework which gives them academic confidence and allows them to be prepared for a new school day.
Boys & Girls Club began impacting youth in 2005 visioning their students to “demonstrate good character and citizenship, live a healthy lifestyle and graduate from high school with a plan for the future.” National records reveal 90% of B&G members graduate from high school.
“For the youth of our community we need 490 people to give $100 a month for a year so we can break ground for the Boys & Girls Club’s Youth Center. We have raised $1.7 of $2.3 million and need $500,000 to get started serving the children who need us most,” informed Ron Thompson, past chair of the B&G board.
Russell saw kids with no hope while working at the Community Thrift Store and was inspired to start the B&G Club. “I see our community’s kids as my kids and I want them to have hope and a positive future,” added the founder of the club.
Individuals and/or businesses can help give kids bright futures by donating for the new B&G Youth center at bgcng.org. For more info contact Don Russell at 770-894-3246 or Ron Thompson at 407-595-6554. Rotary meets Wednesday at noon at Chattahoochee Tech jaspergaro tary.org for lunch, fellowship and service to the community and world.