WHITE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – Aug. 18 is not only the first day of school for students at Meadowlawn Elementary School in Monticello, but the first day for the White County Boys and Girls Club to startup for the year.
In May, the White County Community Foundation offered the Boys and Girls Club a matching grant to help pay for the organization’s needs.
Community Foundation director Leslie Goss said the foundation challenged the club to raise $20,000 before Aug. 15.
“We have funds available from some of our funds at the foundation for special gifts in the community and this was one,” said Goss. “And we really believe in the Boys and Girls Club.”
Advisory Board president Jennifer Ousley said the club was able to raise enough money to reach the goal, but said the organization could not have done it without the community’s help.
“I’m overwhelmed by the support that we’ve received from our community,” said Ousley. ”We’ve had checks from $10 to $10,000 and each check means something to us.”
“It was just awesome to see the community adopt us because it was slow when we started,” said Advisory Board vice president Dan Fry. “Nobody knew what the Boys and Girls Club was, so it was nice to see that we have gotten our name out.”
Chis Overmyer’s children are members of the club. He said they enjoy staying after school with friends and other members.
“The kids like the structure,” said Overmyer. “I think kids need structure and that’s what the club does is provide a fun atmosphere, but a structured atmosphere for them too.”
Overmyer donated about $20,000 to the White County Boys and Girls Club in the last year. He said he does it because his family wants to give back to the community and help the club grow.
“You can have a big heart and you can see a need. But at the end of the day, there are dollars required to make it all work,” said Overmyer.
Ousley said the White County Boys and Girls Club has many goals for the upcoming year. The club wants to have 500 members by Labor Day and have club hours next summer.
“And most importantly is to improve our programming and our day-to-day activities for our kids here,” added Ousley.
The White County Boys and Girls Club has raised about $75,000, but they are still under the $125,000 budget for the year. The club will continue fundraising until they reach this year’s budget.