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Boys & Girls Clubs begin fund raising campaign
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Bulloch County begin a fund raising campaign Monday. - photo by Herald File
       The Boys & Girls Clubs of Bulloch County begins its 9th Annual Fundraising Campaign Monday.
       The Board of Directors along with club supporters and volunteers will visit area businesses and individuals throughout the week seeking support for the ongoing programs offered by the area club. The fundraising committee hopes to raise $150,000 for club programs this year.
       According to Jimmy Mooney, CEO of Willingway Hospital, and 2009 Boys & Girls Clubs board chairman, "In the past year, we've lost a lot of the grant funding that was previously available to us for operations and programs for the children."
       After school each day hundreds of boys and girls get off the bus and instead of going home, look for recreational opportunities and companionship in the streets. A large number of children are left to their own devices with no adult supervision or guidance. Fortunately for Statesboro and Bulloch County, there are other options available for young people. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Bulloch County offer three facilities in which area children and teens can learn, play, and grow in a safe and welcoming atmosphere.
      The Denmark Unit on Denmark Street, the adjacent Elvera Mays Teen Center, and the Portal Unit of the Boys & Girls Club, are open to all children from the ages of 6 to 18 years old in Bulloch County. Facilities are open 251 days a year after school and on weekends.
      Programs that engage the children are geared toward building character and life skills in addition to supporting classroom instruction and the arts. While recreation is a big part of the Boys & Girls Clubs, members also have access to computer labs, career exploration, and academic goal setting techniques.
      Through the generosity of past donors, a recording studio was added to the Teen Center in 2008. The studio allows children and teens to learn about sound recording, live broadcasts, and music making in general. Club members in turn support the community through performances at festivals, assisted living facilities, and special events.
      The positive impact of the Boys & Girls Clubs can also be seen in the higher grades of members versus non-members, in better school attendance, and in lower teen pregnancy rates for Bulloch County since the Clubs opened in 2001.
     Continuing the positive impact that the Clubs have made on the youth of Statesboro and Bulloch County will be challenging. Most of the funding for future programs will depend on volunteer support and the generosity of area donors. A tax deductible contribution will insure that the Clubs remain open when children and families need them most.
      During the week of the Annual Fundraising Campaign, the Clubs will be open for tours each afternoon at 515 Denmark Street. Tours can be arranged by calling Director of Resource Development, Mike Backus at 764-9696.

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