|July 13, 2018 (Bradenton, Fla.) – It might have been Friday the 13th, but that didn’t stop members of the DeSoto Boys & Girls Club from celebrating a $7.5 million milestone as the agency announced the completion of its fundraising campaign to build a new Club.
Club members – ranging in age from 5 to 17 years old – commemorated the occasion with an ice cream party on Friday at the well-loved but functionally obsolete facility located at 5231 34th Street West in Bradenton. It was a feat that took two years and more than 500 contributors to achieve and thanks to a capping $200,000 donation from the Deerbrook Charitable Trust, the goal was met.
“It is indeed a lucky day for Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County,” said Dawn Stanhope, President & CEO of the organization, as she scooped ice cream for a group of energized Club members. “We have been very fortunate that the entire community has rallied around this project. From supporters like Deerbrook, which contributed a total of $1.2 million to the Invest In Kids campaign, to hundreds of donors who gave online during the 2018 Giving Challenge in May, and everyone in between, we will soon have a state- of- the-art Clubhouse for our kids.”
The Invest In Kids project entails building a new 38,951 square foot Club adjacent to the current location. The larger facility will provide access to 600 members daily, nearly tripling capacity and eliminating the current waiting list. The $7.5 million project also provides for $1.5 million for an endowment fund to sustain operations for the new Club.
Construction began in June 2018, with completion slated for summer 2019. There will be a teen center with a separate entrance, a sports/flex field, an expansive covered outdoor play area, a commercial kitchen and other dedicated spaces that focus on academic, character & citizenship, and healthy lifestyles programming.
More information about remaining naming opportunities in the Invest in Kids Campaign can be found by visiting www.InvestInOurClubKids.org or calling Francine Diemer at 941-761-2582.
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 six 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 941-761-2582 or visit www.bgcmanatee.org or www.facebook.com/BoysGirlsClubsManatee.