National Boys & Girls Club makes $80,000 investment in local organization
Jim Clark, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, toured local club sites recently, personally delivering a generous investment of $80,000 to help repair facilities damaged by Hurricane Michael.
Clark made the donation on behalf of the Atlanta-based national club to officials with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bay County. Funds will be used to help rebuild the Joseph F. Chapman Jr. Unit, the Millville facility which was destroyed, and to repair damages to the C.C. and Vivian Moore Unit and the L. Charles Hilton Teen Center in Panama City.
Clark said he came to the hurricane-ravaged Panhandle to provide both financial and moral support. He said the local group, headed by CEO Hank Hill, does a good job of providing for the boys and girls in the program. Hill said the three facilities served about 400 students a day and more than 3,000 over the course of a year. The Bay County club has been in existence since 1965, and has served thousands of children over the last 53 years who grew up in the area.
Currently the only club operating in Bay County is the one at Frank Brown Park in Panama City Beach, which was temporarily relocated to the Lyndell Senior Center because park facilities were occupied by Gulf Power workers. The club operates an after-school and a summer program.
Clark said nationally there are 4,400 Boys & Girls Club sites and 1,100 affiliated organizations. An estimated 4.3 million children are served annually. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Bay County is part of a nationwide affiliation of local, autonomous organizations belonging to Boys & Girls Clubs of America. They work to help youth of all backgrounds, with special concern for those from disadvantaged circumstances, develop the qualities needed to become responsible citizens and leaders.
Each month the Panama City Beach City Council recognizes a student of the month with a Boys & Girls Club Civic Achievement Award. A student will be recognized during this Thursday's 6 p.m. Council meeting.
Donations to help rebuild the clubs can be made through the group’s website at www.bgcbayfl.org.
Jim Clark, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, visits with program participants.
Panama City Beach Public Information Officer Debbie Ward can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (850) 233-5100.