State grant could boost local Boys & Girls Club

Proponents of a Boys & Girls Club in Henderson will take a trip to Wake Forest on Tuesday morning to examine a successful club there.

They’ll carry with them the knowledge that state aid could be available to establish the Boys & Girls Club of North Central North Carolina. Elaine Chavis-Young, who heads the Vance County Coalition Against Violence committee working to establish the club, said last week that the group is eyeing the current home of the H. Leslie Perry Memorial Library, which should move to its Embassy Square location in the spring.

Among those planning to be in Wake Forest at 9 a.m. are City Manager Eric Williams and Franklin-Granville-Vance Partnership for Children official Garry Daeke, who has offered a ride to anyone interested in going.

The purpose of today’s visit to the Wake Forest Boys & Girls Club is “to see a good club in action and get an idea of where we’re going,” Jason Radford, an Appalachian State University student volunteering with the Coalition Against Violence this summer, wrote in an e-mail message last week.

State legislation could increase the chances of Henderson getting where the Boys & Girls Club committee wants to go, according to information state Sen. Doug Berger shared Thursday night.

“What we’ve found is that Boys & Girls Clubs across America have been an effective preventive measure by getting these kids and preventing them from turning to a life of crime,” the Youngsville Democrat said. He said such clubs would be eligible for some of the $3 million the House wants to spend on anti-gang initiatives, with the support of the Black Legislative Caucus.

In addition, Berger said, the General Assembly is setting aside $500,000 specifically to support the establishment of Boys & Girls Clubs in North Carolina. He said he has notified the legislative liaison for the state Health and Human Services Department that groups in his Senate district want that grant money.

“Come to me, and we’ll walk through it together, and we’ll try to shake that tree and make sure the money comes here,” Berger said.

If you want to tour the Wake Forest facility Tuesday morning, you can post a comment below for Daeke to contact you, or you can follow these directions provided by Radford: Take U.S. 1 south to the N.C. 98 exit; take a left onto N.C. 98; and take a right at the second stoplight (Wingate Street). The club is at the bottom of the hill on the left at 325 S. Wingate St.