May 30, 2009 — Student members of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Virgin Islands were proudly giving tours to donors, officials and community members in Christiansted at the kickoff of the club's fund-raising campaign, "It Only Takes One."
One gift from someone in the community can open the door to a brighter tomorrow for more of our children, said Julie Landreneau, executive director.
At the open house, four girls warmly greeted and gave Delegate Donna M. Christensen the whole tour, including the computer room with 12 new computers donated by St. Croix Mid Isle Rotary Club, as well as the kitchen, library, game room and arts and crafts room.
Most importantly is the fact that this facility gives children a place after school to do homework, play and have good experiences, Christensen said after her tour of the facilities.
The Boys and Girls Club currently serves over 200 student members in the Christiansted club headquarters located at 7 Market Street.
This is a really fun and exciting place to go after school, said 8-year-old Tyler Hurtault as he showed off a little raised bed of tomatoes. I really like gardening.
Tour guide Dazy Dial, 9, said she likes to play dodgeball and do arts and crafts.
Friends and donors of the club were impressed with the look of the facility after getting the tour.
This place is absolutely fabulous, said Pamela Andrews, a donor to the club. I love the colors of orange, lime and yellow walls — they are so bright and cheerful.
During the open house people had the opportunity to see the clubs improvements, hear of recent achievements, and reinforce its mission: to enable all young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Attendees also enjoyed ice cream donated by club board member Michael Alphonse of Ivy's Ice Cream.
Board President Larry Richards said children can get in trouble in the after school hours between 3 and 8 p.m. so there has to be a place where kids can stay busy.
Right here we have national programs that are time-tested through and through, Richards said.
Landreneau said they don't want to be dependent on the V.I. government or the federal government to continue those programs and activities.
The children of the Virgin Islands deserve a chance and with enhanced programs and innovative learning modules we can provide this opportunity, Landreneau said. We are optimistic that our campaign will raise the necessary capital to sustain the clubs in Christiansted, Frederiksted and on St. Thomas and allow us to continue our service.
Landreneau said the goal is to have the doors open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and transition to a teen center. She added that morning activities for seniors or GED training might be options to generate income.
The Frederiksted club will be reopening for summer camp from June 15 to Aug. 8. There is a fee for the camp but there is financial assistance available through the Department of Human Services and Lee Rohn's Summer Support Program.
It comes to about 93 cents an hour per child for the camp fee, Landreaneau said. We think that is very affordable when you look at it that way.
For additional information on any of the programs or to support the "It Only Takes One" campaign call the club at 778-8990.
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.