Submitted by Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County
The Concrete Boys & Girls Club just received another boost to change the lives of young people in its community. Growth in the first year of operations at the Concrete Boys & Girls Club has been significant, reaching nearly 190 kids and teens out of a total student population of roughly 500. “This Club reaches a greater percentage of community youth than any other location in the organization,” says Manny Smith, Director of Operations. That growth and the associated need stretch the investment in the 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) beyond what was originally provided for.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County CEO Ron McHenry and his team are committed to serving as many kids and teens as possible and meeting their needs. “We work hard to stretch every dollar for this program and know the impact it has already had in many lives. However, the federal funding source for the Concrete Club has its limitations, and there are many times that difficult decisions have to be made,” said McHenry. It is about to get a little easier thanks to Columbia Bank.
Recently, McHenry received a phone call that quite literally brought him to tears. “We are constantly looking to find funds that can help bridge the gap in service for the CCLC program, as well as provide some basic necessities that can not otherwise be funded. This can include something as simple as having socks available for Club members so they can safely and comfortably participate in a walking field trip.” So, imagine the relief when he heard that Columbia Bank would be investing $25,000 over the next five years to provide the Club with the ability to meet those needs. “To receive such a major investment unsolicited is rare, and incredibly appreciated. It really speaks to the commitment of Columbia Bank to be a proactive partner in the community,” McHenry went on to say.
“We are honored and thrilled to provide this donation to the Boys & Girls Club of Concrete,” said Tom Day, senior vice president and regional retail manager for Columbia Bank in Concrete. “We believe these resources will help the Club continue to provide its amazing support for the youth of Concrete, as more than one-third of the entire School District population is served by the organization.”
The funds will be put to use immediately, to add weeks of programs during the summer beyond what is provided for in the CCLC grant, purchase some necessary food service equipment to allow members an opportunity to receive meals when the Concrete School District Food Program is not running, and make a small pool of funds available to staff to satisfy some of the most basic needs of participants and remove any obstacles from their access to a Great Future.