Several milestones have been reached recently on our local effort to open a Boys and Girls Club (B&GC) here on the Peninsula. This includes work on a new office location, progress on site selection, continued and varied fundraising activities, an easier way to direct donations and a new volunteer coordinator.

Within the next few weeks a B&GC office will open at a newly-remodeled portion of the old Kite Museum location at 112 3rd St NW, Suite B in Long Beach. This is space that the city of Long Beach has donated to the club. A grand opening date will be announced soon, along with celebration activities to mark this important occasion.

The office is not the club site. The office will serve as an administrative hub for the club efforts until such time as a club site opens. A separate Site Selection Committee has been formed and has started the careful process of reviewing space and utilization requirements for a club site. To be able to actually open the new club, the Boys and Girls Club of America or B&GCA requires that a number of remaining requirements be met. This is a thorough, step-by-step process that focuses on sustainability. The target for completing the remaining steps continues to be sometime in 2008 or early in 2009.

A major focus continues to be on fundraising. The board is pleased to announce that we have close to 50 percent of our first year's operating budget in the bank. There have been and will continue to be a wide array of special events supporting the new club, such as the Holiday Tour of Homes and the Memorial Day Yard Sale to name a few. Many of our local business, fraternal, service and special interest clubs have generously helped with sponsored events, too. Earlier this year the Pacific Health Department awarded a Robert W. Johnson $30,000 matching grant to the club effort. Other grant writing efforts are underway, as well. A critical fundraising element for all B&GC clubs is the annual support of individual donors. Board member Martha Murfin initiated the "200 Club" earlier this year. That is the special "club" of those who donate at the $1,000 level. Not everyone can donate at that level and truly every dollar counts. Donations continue to come in regularly, with some for $10, others for $100. Each donation helps us get to that opening day.

All donations to the B&GC are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. We are an IRS approved 501c3 non-profit. To make sure all donations are properly acknowledged we have new way to direct donations. The community can now directly mail donations to our post office box: the Boys and Girls Club of the Long Beach Peninsula, P.O. Box 1172, Long Beach, WA 98631.

Another important way to help support our club effort is by volunteering. We are looking for folks who can volunteer once the club is open, but we also need volunteers now. Currently we need volunteers to work at fundraisers, on committees, on administrative tasks and in many other important ways. To facilitate this process, board member, Earl Wheaton has assumed the volunteer coordinator position. You can reach Earl at 665-2345.

General questions about the Boys and Girls Club can be directed to Board Secretary DeEtta Lorente, at 642-3577. Our new office telephone number (642-8668) will be operational soon and will be equipped with voicemail for questions, as well. Below is a listing of our board of directors. It is a large board that represents a cross section of our community, also a requirement of the B&GCA. All of us on the board want to extend a thank you to our community for your involvement thus far and we look forward to working with you on our continued progress.

The Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Club of the Long Beach Peninsula: Carol Nordquist, President; DeEtta Lorente, Secretary; Jena Ross, Treasurer; Penny Treat, VP-Resource Development; Joe Hewitson, VP-Business; Barbara Sweany, VP-Youth Development. Members at Large: Cindy Hayward, Mary Goelz, Holli Kemmer, Mel Gaines, Christine Hearth, Steve Oman, Ray Bonney, Martha Murfin, Tiffany Turner, Larkin Stentz, Earl Wheaton, Jenny Schmidt, Erin Glenn, Shirley Pryor-Pyne, Ron Willis, Julie Briggs

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