EDITOR’S NOTE: The Chinook Observer provides this ongoing report on efforts to address the need for after-school opportunities. It is written by local organizers.
PENINSULA — The Boys & Girls Club of the Long Beach Peninsula has had its charter revoked by the Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA). While this was very disappointing to the Board of Directors, it was not a surprise. When the club had to close its doors in October 2019, the board was informed by BGCA that certain requirements would need to be met within a 90-day period for the charter to continue.
One of the requirements was that the club would need to acquire enough funds to maintain operations for a significant length of time, as well as a plan for financial sustainability. There were other issues to be completed which have largely been resolved, such as the 2018 financial audit and annual report and increased insurance requirements.
The Board of Directors reports that although there have been many donations to the Martha and Mya Fund at the South Pacific County Community Foundation (SPCCF), there is not an adequate amount to satisfy the BGCA’s requirements for reopening the club. If the club had been close to meeting the financial requirements, BGCA might have given a grace period beyond the 90 days, but since the shortfall is significant, the BGCA decision was to revoke the charter.
If, after additional time, the organization is able to build its financial basis to a sufficient amount and present a plan to sustain the funding source, the club could reapply to BGCA for a new charter. The process would be identical to that of any organization applying for a BGCA charter for the first time — a lengthy and arduous task.
Since the charter has been revoked, the club is no longer able to use the name, “Boys & Girls Club of the Long Beach Peninsula” and must provide proof to BGCA that a change of name has been made. All items containing the logo and name must be removed from the facility, social media and any items owned by the club.
The board reports that at the community forum held on Dec. 3, 2019, people did not necessarily voice a desire to be a Boys & Girls Club. Attendees wanted a safe place after school where their kids could engage in creative and educational activities, get some homework done, play, exercise and enjoy time with friends and positive adult role models. The board of directors of the former Boys & Girls Club report they are still meeting on a regular basis to achieve this goal. The facility at Ilwaco High School is still as it was when the club closed, and additionally, the board hopes to be able to satisfy the desire of some community members for programming at the local school sites, especially Ocean Park.
The board reports that it had been working diligently to meet the BGCA requirements. However, members feel that the work done and the mission of BGCA applies well to what our community needs regardless of whether they have the name and charter. They plan to continue that work and find a way to open a new program as soon as possible. Those wishing to volunteer and participate in the new creation should call 360-642-8668 and leave a message or e-mail the Board of Directors at firstname.lastname@example.org. The board thanks the community for its continued support of the growth and well-being of our community’s children.