FOLEY - The South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce gathered on Wednesday, July 21, along with staff of the Boys & Girls Club of South Alabama and the new Foley location, Foley elected officials, community …
FOLEY - The South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce gathered on Wednesday, July 21, along with staff of the Boys & Girls Club of South Alabama and the new Foley location, Foley elected officials, community members, and kids enrolled in the program, to host a ribbon cutting at the Foley Boys & Girls Club. The Foley Boys & Girls Club arrives in the community after a merger between the Boys & Girls Club of South Alabama and the Snook Youth Club finalized earlier this year.
The Boys & Girls Club of South Alabama returns to Baldwin County after withdrawing from the area approximately 15 - 20 years ago due to cost and economic downfall. The location in Foley marks the first Boys & Girls Club to return to the county.
“We’re very excited to finally get back to Baldwin County,” said Chairman of the Board Todd Denison. “The name of the organization is the Boys & Girls Club of South Alabama and for the last 15 or 20 years we’ve really been the Boys & Girls Club of Mobile County, so this is a momentous occasion, and one of which we’re very proud.”
When the merger finalized, approximately 11 children were enrolled at the location. By July, almost 45 children are enrolled in the summer program. The building can hold on average about 50 - 55 children safely, and the team’s goal is to see 50 children enrolled.
“We’re almost at capacity here, which is remarkable,” said Denison. “I think that demonstrates the need for Boys & Girls Club in south Baldwin County, and maybe another one in Foley at some point down the road, but all across our footprint the need for Boys & Girls Club is tremendous.”
While the summer program is nearing its end, the afterschool program is gearing up for registration.
“I think that it’s really important that for just $30 a school year, a young person has a place to go every single day that’s safe and positive, with caring adults,” said Tim Wills, CEO of Boys & Girls Club of South Alabama. “I know I’ve joked with the police chief and some others about the more we do, the less work they have to do, but it’s so true. The more we can do to serve the young people in this community, the better it is, not just for the police but for economic development, for your businesses, for our community as a whole.”
The Boys & Girls Club of South Alabama has been in the area for nearly 65 years, and serves approximately 5,000 young people annually. The club offers a wide array of activities to the children who enroll, including technology, music, art, sports, games and field trips. For more information on the Boys & Girls Club of South Alabama and enrollment, check out http://www.bgcsouthal.org. For upcoming South Baldwin Chamber events, visit www.southbaldwinchamber.com.