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Houston County Courier - Local News

Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company

Meeting set to rally community support
Houston County Courier

A 17-year fixture in Crockett may soon become another permanent victim of the economy. A meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 16 at Crockett City Hall to generate support for the Crockett Boys and Girls Club. For many years, the Boys and Girls Club has provided a safe, positive environment for youth after school and during the summer. The Crockett club was closed this summer due to a lack of funds. “We ended the school year serving over 50 youth daily and expected that attendance to double if we had a summer program, said Jeff Woods, president/CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Deep East Texas. “We disappointed many families and left parents searching for adequate supervision for their children this summer,” Woods said. Approximately 94 percent of the youth who enjoy the benefits of the Boys and Girls Club, according to the Crockett ISD’s free lunch program statistics. “The parents we serve can’t afford the cost of daycare, and their children would most likely be unsupervised or neglected if not for the Boys and Girls Club,” Woods said. “Children who attend the club are less likely to get involved with drugs, alcohol, gangs, juvenile crime and violence because when they are at the club, they are not exposed to these hazards.” The Boys and Girls Club is a non-profit organization that relies solely on contributions from individuals and businesses in the community. Local citizens who serve on the Boys and Girls Club’s Advisory Committee are responsible for generating operation expenses through fundraising activities. In addition to a tight economy, the Crockett Boys and Girls Club has faced the additional challenge of keeping the Advisory Committee filled with citizens committed to the necessary fundraising projects. After ending the 2010 year with a deficit, and officials report the organization is experiencing an even larger shortfall of funds this year. “A meeting was held in July to determine the future of the Boys and Girls Club of Crockett. We really only had two choices and that is to close the club permanently or try to rally the community for support,” Woods said. “We decided to make one last effort and see if we could generate support of the community to keep the club in Crockett,” Woods continued. “So many of our community leaders have put their heart and soul into the Boys and Girls Club over the past seventeen years, including Betty and Murphy George in whose honor the facility was named. “I would be sad if the club were no longer a part of our community,” said committee member Jake Caprielian. “I would encourage our community to step up and help this much needed program. We owe it to our children and our future. I hope to see a big turnout at this community rally meeting.”


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