June 1, 2018 (Bradenton, Fla.) – Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County broke ground on the new DeSoto Boys & Girls Club on Friday, June 1, just over a year and four months after publicly announcing the Invest in Kids capital campaign to replace the existing facility. Campaign donors, volunteers, staff, federal, state and local officials, as well as members of the design-build team were all on hand to witness the ceremonious shoveling of the dirt, which took place where the heart of the new Club will be located, adjacent to the current site at the corner of 34th Street West and 53rd Avenue West in Bradenton. The campaign goal of $7.5 million includes building the new Club and providing an endowment to sustain operations. To date, more than $7.1 million has been raised, giving the organization the necessary funds to begin construction of the 37,477 square foot, state-of-the-art facility.
“This is an exciting day, both as a former Club kid and the Chairman of the Invest in Kids Campaign,” said local attorney Caleb Grimes. “There is a real sense of pride knowing that everyone who passes by and every member who attends the current Club can now watch the progress of the new facility. It’s a symbol of the commitment that our community and Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County has to our youth.”
Construction of the new Club will begin in approximately two weeks, with completion slated for summer 2019, according to Dawn Stanhope, President & CEO of the organization. Plans include a teen center with a separate entrance, a sports/flex field, a commercial kitchen for members to learn culinary skills and other dedicated spaces that focus on academics, character & citizenship, and healthy lifestyles programming.
“Our Club members have been so excited,” said Stanhope, “but when they see the construction actually taking place and the daily progress, their anticipation level is going to sky rocket. We appreciate everyone who has contributed to helping give our kids the Club that they deserve.”
Once completed, the new facility will have the capacity to serve 600 children and teens per day, nearly triple the amount served at the existing Club. The 50 year old facility will continue to operate until the new Club is ready.
More information about the Invest in Kids Campaign can be found on the web at www.InvestInOurClubKids.org or by calling Francine Diemer at 941-761-2582, option 5.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County
Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County’s mission is “to enable all young people, especially those that need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.” In operation since 1946, Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County currently provides afterschool and summer programs for over 4,100 young people at seven locations (2 traditional Clubs and 4 school-based Clubs). The Clubs offer a safe place to learn and grow, where young members experience both life-enhancing and character-building programs focused on academic success, healthy lifestyles, and good character and citizenship. For more information, call 761-2582 or visit www.bgcmanatee.org or www.facebook.com/BoysGirlsClubsManatee.