I hope you will allow me to share with you and the Peninsula community an experience I had recently. Not long ago I had the pleasure of hearing a talk by Ms. Debbie Coppenger, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club, Long Beach Peninsula chapter at a local meeting that I attended. Ms. Coppenger explained the activities of the Boys and Girls Club of Long Beach in detail. I had heard that there are many children in our Long Beach Peninsula area who needed such assistance, but I had no idea before her presentation how her program was reaching so many children with such a variety of effective programs.

I think if more people in our community could hear what the Boys and Girls Club is doing to help our kids grow up strong and healthy that they too would become motivated, as I have to support the program with either a donation or an offer to volunteer time and expertise. The program's Web site reflects data describing how the kids have been positively influenced by club activities:

"The 2007 B&GC Alumni Survey reports the following impacts of Boys and Girls Club on their lives: 61 percent became more committed to their education, 85 percent report learning right from wrong, 82 percent report increased self confidence, with over 90 percent report overall satisfaction with adult life and it was one of the best things of their lives. Most important of all 60 percent reported B&G Club was the only safe place to go for them. 57 percent say the Club saved their life!" Pretty amazing.

I wish the Boys and Girls Club continued success. I thank Ms. Coppenger, her staff, members of the board of directors, and all the volunteers and other supporters who are doing so much on our children's behalf.

I'm sending this letter in hopes that you will publish it so others can learn about and hopefully support the Boys and Girls Club in Long Beach.

The club's Web site is: www.longbeachbgc.com/ (You can log on and electronically send a contribution to the club; also, forms are available online to sign up as a volunteer.)

Time and place that they meet:

Long Beach Elementary

400 S Washington

Long Beach

WHEN: School days only

Mondays through Thursdays: 2:45 p.m.-7 p.m.

Fridays: 1:45 p.m.-6 p.m.

The Club is offering after school programs at the Long Beach Elementary School. If you have a passion to work with kids or want to help - call the office to sign up at 642-8668

The mailing address is:

Ms. Debbie Coppenger

Executive Director

Boys and Girls Club,

Long Beach Peninsula,

P.O. Box 1172,

Long Beach, WA 98631

Thank you very much to all for making our community a wonderful and wholesome place in which to live.

Joe Paliani

Ocean Park

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