Coleman stresses need for local club support

Do you know about the Vermilion Boys and Girls Club?

Since 1990, “the Club”, as it is known by the children who attend, has served over 4,000 Vermilion Parish youth. The goal is to provide a variety of educational and recreational programs and activities that will have a positive impact on their lives. The club has become known as a tremendous resource for the children of the parish.

Through the commitment and collaboration of a group of dedicated volunteers, the Club initially opened at the site of the Vermilion Parish School Board gymnasium. In 1992, the Club relocated to its present home in the A. A. Comeaux Park recreational facility. Each year, the Vermilion Board of Managers is charged with the responsibility of generating the funds necessary to operate the facility and programs, and the “Invest in Youth” campaign is one of the ways that citizens of Vermilion Parish can help to support the Club.

Board President Rick Coleman stresses the urgent need for the community to support Club programs. “Through my service on the Vermilion Board of Managers, I have seen first-hand the difference the Club can make for our children. This Club is crucial to our community and its future, and we must ensure that it continues to grow and thrive.”

The annual operating budget of the Vermilion Boys and Girls Club is approximately $185,000. The cost of providing a year of Club programs for one child is approximately $300. Coleman notes that any gift to the campaign is needed and welcome. “The great thing about the ‘Invest in Youth’ campaign is that any level of contribution can make a significant impact. A $300 investment can sponsor a child for a year of Club activities, and a $25 investment can sponsor a child for participation on the club for one month. It’s easy for our donors to see how their contribution directly impacts our children.”

The goal for this year’s campaign is $42,000; however, the Vermilion Board of Managers would like to exceed their goal. To date, Vermilion Parish has raised over $350,000 for the Club. Coleman remarked that “many of our grants have been cut, and in these hard economic times it is more important than ever that we make sure that our children don’t suffer. We are hoping the business community, as well as individuals, will consider a gift to the Club if they have never supported the Club before, or to continue donating if they have given in the past. We invite everyone to stoop by the Club for a visit. Each day that the Club opens its doors means the opportunity to change a child’s life.”

The Club is open year-round with school hours on Monday - Friday from 3:00 - 8:00 p.m., and summer hours on Monday - Friday from 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Each day the club opens its doors, members have the opportunity to participate in programs which foster self-esteem, and help each child realize his or her full potential. The activities are designed to help keep children in school, off of drugs and alcohol and away from gangs and violence.

For more information on the Vermilion Boys and Girls Club or how you can support this campaign, please call 898-9745 or 268-9555. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Acadiana is a United Way Agency, and is the “Positive Place for Kids.”

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