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11/2/14 Press Release

Investors donate $1.2 million toward capital campaign

Life-long residents Bud and Anne Groskinsky have contributed $148,000 through the Groskinsky Foundation to the Boys & Girls Club of Richland County. The foundation was the first major contributor to "prime the pump” as lead investors have come together in support of a much needed Clubhouse for kids.

This gift was disclosed by the Boys & Girls Club of Richland County at the public kick-off of a $6 million "Great Futures Start Here” fundraising campaign. The campaign will raise funds for a new Clubhouse on the north half of Johnson Park, creating 16,600 square feet of new program space and funds for the next three years of program costs.
"We are greatly appreciative of this magnificent gift from the Groskinskys. They recognize the difference the Boys & Girls Club makes in kids’ lives,” said Mary Hernandez, Boys & Girls Club interim director and capital campaign consultant.
Joining the Groskinskys with lead gifts include the Dayton and Svarre Foundations. "As we launch the public phase of our campaign, early gifts and pledges from the 30 lead investors really help us build momentum,” said Tami Christensen, co-chair of the Campaign Council.

Prior to today’s public campaign kick-off, the Boys & Girls Club has been soliciting support from friends and supporters of the Club, and it already has in-hand $1.2 million in pledges and gifts towards the $6 million goal.
Campaign co-chair Libby Berndt encourages others to support the Clubhouse campaign by asking folks to "wrap your arms around this campaign.” The building project is the result of dramatic increased need for after-school and summer programming for kids ages K-12. At the height of membership, over 300 kids were served in the after-school and summer programs. At that time the Club had vast space it rented from the School District with plans to grow its programming.
Several factors have contributed to the increased need. First, Richland County has welcomed families in record numbers as a result of the Bakken play. Second, Central School has its own need for additional space. Third, the lack of existing buildings that fits the Club’s needs, or the great cost of retrofitting a building to accommodate the needs of kids’ programming.

The club has formed a strong collaborative with the School District and Central Elementary School, in particular. The shared goals of these entities is to provide safety and healthy growth of youth as top-priority ones.
The Boys & Girls Club provides a positive, nurturing environment for kids. Our staff serves as stable role models in these kids’ lives. We help young people to develop a positive self-identity, a sense of competency, and the values of honesty, respect, and tolerance. We want them to become productive, caring and responsible adults,” said Sara Berndt, program director. Together the Club and the School District serve to provide a safe and caring environment for the community’s youth.

The club became an official organization in 2004, as the result of a community-wide fundraising effort and volunteer commitment. Upon opening its first clubhouse, the Boys & Girls Club plans to accommodate 300 club members at any given time.

The new facility will feature multi-purpose areas for: doing homework, engaging in nutritional activities, a games room, an educational and technology center, arts and crafts, a teen center, reading nooks, and outdoor garden beds. In addition, the new clubhouse will allow the club to bring back its summer program.
Co-chairing the "Great Futures Start Here” campaign are Libby Berndt, Reynold’s Market office manager, and Tami Christensen of Tri-County Implement. Campaign Council members include April Boehler, Tim Fine, Mike Mohl, Don Netzer and Craig Price.

For additional information about the "Great Futures Start Here” campaign, contact Mary Hernandez at the Boys & Girls Club of Richland County at Central Elementary in room 213, at 406-433-6763 or by email at ceo@richlandbgc.org.

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