Boys & Girls Clubs plan June opening, continue capital campaign

Hillary Gavan/Beloit Daily News | May 14, 2020

BELOIT — The Stateline Boys & Girls Clubs have plans to reopen in June, hoping to provide children a safe, educational and fun place to go as their families return to work.

“Safety is our number one priority. We have developed and vetted a reopening plan with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Department of Children and Family Services, local law enforcement, our insurance carrier and Beloit Health System’s Infection Control Team that our board of directors will vote on May 20. The goal and focus is to re-open our doors in June. Once our board has voted on official dates, we will communicate those dates to all,” said Boys & Girls Club CEO Mark Rand.

During COVID-19, the Beloit and South Beloit clubs have been busy finding ways to help those in need. The clubs offer free dinners for children ages 6-18 on weekdays from 4:30—6 p.m. at both sites. The clubs also worked with partners at Community Action, Merrill Community Center and the Stateline Family YMCA to pack up activity and snack bags to be given to kids at School District of Beloit lunch sites

During COVID-19, the clubs have given away just shy of 2,000 total meals to children, or about 300 to 350 per week, Rand said.

Beloit Boys & Girls Club staff member Jerry Harris, who was passing out sacked dinners on Thursday, said it was a blessing to give to those who need food. Staff member Ashley Chisholm said it was a great way to help out the community as well as see the kids again.

Despite COVID-19, the Stateline Boys & Girls Clubs’ capital campaign to build a new $5 million facility in Beloit and renovate its existing South Beloit facility remains underway.

“We remain flexible with our timeline, and hold steadfast to our new facility opening sometime in late 2021,” said Capital Campaign Chair Jim Packard Jr.

The Stateline Boys & Girls Clubs has plans to build a new Beloit facility along the Fourth Street corridor and to renovate its South Beloit site at 1161 Dorr Road. The current Beloit building is on the far west side of town at 1851 Moore St. The focus will be for the new facility to be more centrally located along the Fourth Street corridor nearer community partners, in particular the Beloit Memorial High School’s student population.

Packard said the solicitation phase of the Stateline Boys & Girls Clubs’ Capital Campaign titled “Building a Better Future for our Community” has been temporarily paused for a bit. In light of COVID-19, Packard said organizers decided it was best to hold off on making monetary requests while still moving ahead with planning. The campaign committee meets monthly to work on brochures, newsletters, press releases and pledge cards.

“This campaign, which leads to a variety of positive changes for our organization and community, is very much still viewed as necessary,” Packard said. “We know it is going to take the commitment and the support of our entire community in order for Stateline Boys & Girls Clubs to continue its long history of serving the community and meeting these and other perceived challenges.”

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Y, Community Action and Boys & Girls Club pack up activity bags

Hillary Gavan/Beloit Daily News | Mar 31, 2020

BELOIT—Children at Hackett and Merrill elementary schools will be getting activity bags stuffed with snacks, juice, books and fun thanks to some quick work by the Stateline Family YMCA, Stateline Boys & Girls Club, Community Action and the School District of Beloit.

Volunteers from the agencies lined up books donated by the Beloit Literacy for Life Initiative, Gatorade, chips and cookies from Frito-Lay and coupons from Culver’s before stuffing the bags on Monday at Community Action’s training center.

The Stateline Family YMCA, Stateline Boys & Girls Club, Community Action had purchased puzzles, word searches and other games for inclusion in the packs in addition to the ample snacks.

“We want to say hello, boost morale and let kids and families know we’re here for them,” Interim Deputy Director for Community Action Inc. Marc Perry said.

“A little treat here and there helps break up some of what they’re facing,” President and CEO of Stateline Family YMCA Ann Hankins said. “It allows us to create a bit of a bright light for kids at home who are facing some of the same anxieties as adults.”

The 200 activity bags will be distributed along with the school district’s lunches at the school sites. The bags will be handed out at Hackett next week and at Merrill the week of April 13.

During the flurry of packing on Monday, Perry commended Hankins and Stateline Boys and Girls Club Chief Executive Officer Mark Rand for diving in to make the project happen.

“Mark and Ann were awesome to work with,” he said.

Perry explained that Rand called him with the idea a week ago, and everyone was able to quickly secure donations and make the project a reality.

“We are doing what we can to serve the kids we serve and trying to keep them as engaged as possible while they are home from school and the club,” Rand said.

Rand said Boys and Girls Clubs around the country are doing similar activities. He added the Stateline Boys and Girls Club is offering virtual programming, online activities available on the club’s website and Facebook page for their approximately 1,900 youth members during the COVID-19 quarantine. He also hopes to offer curbside dinner pickup for families in April.

During the event packers were proudly donning “We are all in this together” T-shirts made by Walnut Creek Awards and Promotions, 406 E Grand Ave., to show support for local businesses.

“We are wearing the shirts, and we will give them a shout out as they are a supporter of our organizations,” Rand said.

Hankins says she is thankful for the YMCA members who have kept their memberships during the quarantine.

That has helped allow the YMCA to offer emergency child care for children of health care workers and other essential employees. Community Action is offering a similar service at its center in Janesville.

Stateline Boys & Girls Club Newsletter | January 2020

December brings closure to one year and the beginning of another. The month was full of Holiday parties and plenty of fun activities at our clubs. December was also a time for our kids and staff to give back to one of our own. A group of our kids and staff volunteered at the TEAMJA’CAIGH food and coat drive on December 21 at our Career Tek extension.

Stateline Boys & Girls Club Newsletter | December 2019

November is a time to be thankful. As I sit down to write this, I am thankful for so many things. I am thankful for the continuing opportunity to lead this truly impactful organization in our community. I am thankful for our Leadership Team, along with our amazing staff who make an impact on young people on a daily basis. I am thankful for our supportive Board of Directors who work so hard behind the scenes to guide us on our mission. I am also thankful to all our volunteers who help out in our clubs. But mostly, I am thankful to all of you who support our clubs; you are superstars in your own right! We truly couldn’t do what we do without your support.

Stateline Boys & Girls Club Newsletter | November 2019

Fall is upon us and that brings a lot of excitement around our clubs. Sips & Treats fundraiser is coming up on November 21, so get your tickets before we sell out. You will see from the pictures in this newsletter that our clubs are not only fun for our kids, but also our staff. Sometimes I think they have more fun than the kids!

Art Class

Stateline Boys & Girls Club Newsletter | October 2019

October and Fall are upon us. So many great things going on at our clubs as you will see from the enclosed newsletter and photos.

Our club, along with the 158 other club sites in Wisconsin, recently launched a national “Agenda for America’s Youth” advocacy platform. We, along with the other clubs in Wisconsin, provide services to over 143,000 youth after school and on weekends, more youth than any other state in the country for population.

Stateline Boys & Girls Club Newsletter | September 2019

September is bittersweet. It marks the end of summer here at our clubs, but also means Back to School and After School Programming. I wanted to take a second to give a huge thank you to our Staff at both of our clubs and our extension sites this summer. You made each day fun for all our members, and most importantly, made a positive impact on the lives of many. You guys rock! For those staff heading back to college, best wishes for a great year! Come back and see us soon!

Stateline Boys & Girls Club Newsletter | August 2019

August is upon us and dare I say the school year is right around the corner. July showed our clubs true summer weather and plenty of opportunities for our club kids to get outside. One of those opportunities took place in July when we collaborated with four of our Community Partners, the Stateline Y, City of Beloit Recreation Department, Community Action and the Welty Center to put on the second annual Stateline Summer Camp Olympics held at Big Hill Park.

Stateline Boys & Girls Club Newsletter | July 2019

Summertime at our clubs is an exciting time for our kids. Over 100 kids per day walk through the doors of our club facilities and find a positive, fun environment. They also find an opportunity to meet new friends, as well as positive relationships with our staff. We are also proud to be a part of Summer Food program in our communities. We provide breakfast and lunch to all of our kids, in addition to the walk ins in the community who drop by. While all of this is exciting for our kids and our community, it is also energizing for us as staff people. I often find myself pumped up by all the young voices in the club all day.

Stateline Boys & Girls Club Newsletter | June 2019

Summer is almost here! As the school year comes to a close, and summer programming gets ready to begin, everyone is hard at work preparing for another impactful summer. Young people of the Stateline Area have come to depend and count on Stateline Boys & Girls Clubs for not only their safe, positive place to be, but also their summer fun place! Our staff makes it their mission to deliver on this.