Anacortes American Article

Donations keep Boys & Girls Club open this summer
Posted by Kimberly Jacobson | May 08, 2013

The Anacortes Boys & Girls Club will be open this summer after the county organization announced last week it received funding to keep the clubs open.

After announcing the clubs would be closed due to financial constraints, the organization received gifts from several anonymous donors that will allow the clubs in Anacortes, La Conner, Mount Vernon and Sedro-Woolley to keep their doors open over the summer holiday.

“It was a very difficult decision for us to close our doors during the summer as we realize that is a time when families need us the most,” said Annette Booth, president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County board of directors. “These donations will not only allow us to offer summer programs but put us in a stronger position to increase our services during the school year.”

The clubs will be open noon to 6 p.m. weekdays June 24-Aug. 15. Lunch and snacks will be provided each day. There is a $30 monthly fee per family.

David Conover, the organization’s chief professional officer, said offering a summer program is a boost for students.

“Being open in the summer is important for us because one of the gaps we want to fill is summer learning loss,” he said.

Anacortes Unit Director Angela Freeberg said the club has been open at least some hours during the summer since it opened in October 2000. Families are happy about the summer hours coming back, she said.

The summer program includes weekly themes and swimming once a week at Fidalgo Pool. It also includes reading programs and other learning activities.

Since moving to its temporary home at City Hall last August, the club has made itself at home. Currently, there are about 192 members. Freeberg said they usually end up around 250 by the end of August.

Conover said the organization is working on a strategic plan, which should be launched in the fall. Noon Rotary and Kiwanis have already offered to help with a capital campaign if that’s the direction the organization goes to find a permanent home for the Anacortes club, he said.

The budget this year in Anacortes is $148,350. About 16 percent of that is covered by membership dues. The annual membership due is $30 per family and a monthly activity fee is $30 per family.

The Anacortes club’s annual fundraising breakfast is 7 a.m. Thursday, May 16 in the basement of City Hall. RSVP by Friday. Visit www.skagitraisesgreatkids.org/anacortes.

The Anacortes club and the other clubs have another fundraising opportunity Thursday through the first Skagit Day of Giving organized by the Skagit Community Foundation. The clubs and six other participating nonprofits can each earn up to $15,000 in match monies put up by Stedem Wood and his parents Leighton and Susan Wood.

“This is an amazing opportunity to support your local club and double your investment in our youth,” Conover said. “Ninety percent of the funding we receive to operate our clubs comes from the local community. Our doors would close if not for the generosity of so many individuals, businesses and service groups.”

Skagit Day of Giving
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County is one of the Skagit Community Foundation’s seven partners who will participate in the first Skagit Day of Giving 4-8 p.m. Thursday at the St. Joseph Center in Mount Vernon. Participating organizations will be trying to raise money, and any amount each raises up to $15,000 will be matched by a longtime foundation donor family — Stedem Wood and his parents Leighton and Susan Wood.

Other partners are Friendship House, the Museum of Northwest Art, North Cascades Institute, Padilla Bay Foundation, Skagit Land Trust and Skagit Symphony.

The free event will feature educational booths, art and live music. There will be complimentary appetizers and a no-host bar. Visit www.skagitcf.org.

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