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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