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Sending a signal for students

Kristal Van Selus, program director, leads a germ science unit for students at the Sequim Boys & Girls Club. Fundraisers like Campaign for Kids help support programs like the science unit in Port Angeles and Sequim.  Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Phoning it in isn't an option for volunteers and the latest fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula.

On Saturday, July 30, the clubs in Sequim and Port Angeles work together for a Phone-A-Thon benefiting their Campaign for Kids.

This is the second year for the event where volunteers and staff will make and take phone calls from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at 683-8095. Those who come in from noon-2 p.m. at the Sequim club, 400 W. Fir Street, receive free hot dogs and drinks and a tour. Radio station KONP 1450 AM will broadcast live from the club.

Campaign for Kids is one of the clubs' three largest annual fundraisers, along with their auction and golf tournament. It kicked off April 1 and runs through Aug. 31, so as not to compete with the United Way of Clallam County's fundraising time.

Katie Wall, campaign co-chairman, said their goal is $80,000 and they've raised about $25,000 so far.

Jerry Sinn, board president, said the effort is behind last year's total at this time but the Phone-A-Thon is a big part of the effort. Their hope is that they'll raise $20,000 at the one-day event.

In 2010, the clubs grossed $86,979, easily beating their $70,000 goal, but in 2009 the campaign earned $63,692 of the $85,000 goal.

Sinn said the funds go into general operating funds unless someone designates where money will go within the clubs.

When the campaign began, Wall said, the clubs approached many of their annual donors first. They also have done advertising to draw attention to the campaign.

She said 80 percent of the clubs' funding comes from the community and 20 percent from grants.

"We constantly have to be fundraising," Wall said. "It's 365 days a year. Without the help of a wonderful community, the clubs wouldn't be able to exist."

Wall said once they determine how much they've earned with the Phone-A-Thon, then the campaign's committee will determine how they are going to make their push in the last month.

Joint effort

Wall, a steering committee member for the Port Angeles club, said fundraising remains a joint effort between the Port Angeles and Sequim clubs.

"It works the same in P.A. as Sequim," she said. "Bringing awareness to the club in P.A. is extremely important. We've certainly increased that. We still have a ways to go. More and more donors are participating each year."

Increasing student participation in the Port Angeles club is key to bringing more donors, she said.

"With hope and lots of hard work the future looks good in P.A.," Wall said. "We want to grow programs there and are asking people to participate in a survey. It's going to help us and them see the needs in the club."

Attendance in the two clubs' summer attendance is slightly higher in the Sequim program, with 40-45 in the morning and 80 in the afternoon. Port Angeles hosts 20-25 students in the morning and 40-45 in the afternoon.

"I don't know any place that provides services like ours for $30 a year," Wall said about the clubs' annual attendance.

"We have computers and so many programs. It's the best that I know of on the peninsula in both clubs. There are no other programs of this caliber and price."

The morning summer program costs $15 a day or $60 a week. If parents/guardians pay the annual membership, then their children can attend noon-6 p.m. without additional fees, with lunch and an afternoon snack served.

Contact the Sequim Boys & Girls Club and Teen Club, 400 W. Fir St., at 683-8095.

Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula Campaign for Kids

2009  $85,000 goal • $63,692.01 gross

2010 $70,000 goal • $86,979 gross

2011 $80,000 goal • Amount determined after Aug. 31




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