News

Campaign For Kids exceeds $80,000

by MATTHEW NASH
Sequim Gazette

What looked like looming budget cuts now seems to be better days at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula.

 

Late August estimates put the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula’s Campaign for Kids about $20,000 under its goal. A recent outpouring of support from the community brought in more than $20,000 to benefit core services in Sequim and Port Angeles.

 

“We have met our goal,” said Mary Budke, executive director of the clubs.

 

“An anonymous donor gave $10,000 and the rest came from several people. That’s our community supporting us a dollar at a time. Every dime has impact.”

 

The club solicited donations for the campaign through Sept. 7, until the United Way of Clallam County, a joint partner, began fundraising efforts.

 

Katie Wall, co-chairman, said when word got out that the club was short of its goal more support began to come in.

 

“Many thanks to the generous people of the community who support the clubs,” Wall said. “Without their support, we wouldn’t be able to run the programs for the children.”

 

Core services won’t be impacted now that the dollars have been matched, Budke said. If the campaign hadn’t reached its goal, programs that help with homework, promote graduation, character and leadership building and the Teen Club might have been cut.

 

“One of the first cuts would be restricting evening (teens) program,” Budke said. “I never want to cut, but if we have to, then we want to keep the core intact.”

Early campaigning

On Sept. 27, the campaign committee meets with staff from the national Boys & Girls Club program to refine their efforts in 2012. Budke said they would discuss how to better demonstrate how money received is used and how it impacts children and families in the community.

 

“We want to be able to show what we do,” Budke said. “We don’t want to be the best kept secret in town.”

The Campaign for Kids is one of three major fundraisers for the clubs with their golf tournament in May and an upcoming November auction.

 

A $200,000 goal is set for the Nov. 12 auction, called “It’s a Night to Sparkle.” Organizers met the same goal last year, which is the clubs’ biggest fundraiser.

 

Wall said the clubs’ programs are affordable and needed.

 

“We help parents know they are going to have a safe place for children with effective after-school programs like helping with homework and providing a meal,” Wall said. “It’s affordable — $30 a year. I don’t know where else you are going to get something for that price.”

 

Sequim’s paid membership is at 496 with 126 in Port Angeles. Budke estimates about 90 percent of teens are unpaid members and the Sequim club serves another 220 unpaid students not included in membership counts.

 

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

 

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