Editor’s Note: The author of this article is a member of the Executive Board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of North Central North Carolina.
Ken Wilson, Vice-President of the Boys and Girls Clubs of North Central North Carolina presented to the Henderson-Vance Economic Partnership on Thursday afternoon.
Only eight of 27 members were present to hear Wilson speak. The audience consisted of two members of the media.
Wilson referred to a handout given to members of the Partnership which listed members of the Corporate Board and also the programs offered by the Club. He informed members that local clubs can institute programs to meet local needs.
He educated the group on how the national Boys and Girls Clubs organization makes grant money available. Although dues are paid to the national organization, much more in grant money is received back than is paid out.
Wilson called it a “well-run organization”. He said, however, that the goal of the local chapter is to be better than the national organization.
The vice-president stated that the program is not a “magic bullet”, nor will it solve all of society’s ills, but it will be another tool. He also mentioned that the group is looking for board members, volunteers, and is and will be engaged in a constant effort of fund-raising.
The local club can only open with national approval if it has three-quarters of its first year’s operating budget in the bank. Wilson stated that every club that has followed this formula has a “zero percent” failure rate.
Partnership member Tommy Hester asked about the time schedule of the local organization. Wilson replied that an office had just been opened behind the Wildflower, a regional corporate board had been formed, and that the Vance County unit was hoping to open at E.M. Rollins Elementary School by November 15.
Member Marilyn Rasheed asked if the club had looked at permanent homes. Wilson stated that an old tobacco warehouse had been offered, but he did not know if it would work. He also said that the group had looked at the Armory. Wilson stressed that any building has to have enough space for club needs, and has to meet the clubs financial criteria as well.
Rasheed asked about the location of the club. She expressed the opinion that the club should be located in a neighborhood where it was most needed. She voiced a frequent criticism of the Aycock Recreation Complex, namely that it is not accessible to non-driving youth and residents.
Wilson replied that the club intended to have any site chosen be a community site, open and available to everyone. He cited issues of supportability as a factor in choosing a site.
Partnership member Andrea Harris voiced the opinion that the club needs to locate in the areas of the lowest income strata. Echoing her presentation at the Henderson City Council on Monday night, she stated a need to make resources more accessible to those who need them.
Wilson reaffirmed that the first priority of his group is to get a club up and running, and that the mission priority is to serve those who need the club most. He argued that the club was not in a position to pick and choose buildings because of financial limitations and liabilities.
Wilson stated that transportation would be arranged to E.M. Rollins.
Rasheed said that if transportation could be organized to Rollins, why not transport to the Aycock Recreation Center. She suggested that the city be asked to transport.
When Ferguson inquired about the budget, Wilson stated that the club had a $50,000 grant which must be matched by November 15. Wilson said that $30,000 is left to be raised before the deadline is reached.
Wilson may be contacted at the Boys and Girls Clubs of North Central North Carolina office at 115 Breckenridge Street or by calling 430-1871. More information may be obtained by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. A rotating banner advertisement at the top of this page will guide readers to the website of the club.