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Raising funds up the hill

Raising funds up the hill

@TheSunGazette

exeter – The Exeter Boys & Girls Club was bustling with 125 kids each day last week during spring break. Instead of being stuck in front of the television, those children were playing sports, board games, reading a book, creating arts and crafts, participating in scavenger hunts and much more. The friendships and socialization at the club are invaluable to the development of well rounded adults, but it does have a cost.

In 2016, the programs conducted by the club included: Torch Club Leadership, ServeSquad (community service), Book Club, Power Hour (daily homework), Robotics, Club Chef, Garden Club, SMART Girls (good choices for girls), SMART Moves (drug and alcohol prevention), Triple Play (social recreation, sports and fitness), Healthy Habits (good nutrition), field trips, dance class, art works, drama matters and fine arts.

In order to provide a safe place for kids to learn and play, employees must be compensated, utility bills paid, equipment replaced and the building maintained. And those were issues before the club went through major growth spurts in the last few years.

Galen Quenzer, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sequoias, told the Exeter City Council last December that the club’s membership has grown to represent 15% of every resident under the age of 18 and nearly 60% of Exeter’s low income children. Total membership is 499, but the club isn’t accepting any new members and is turning away kids every day, meaning the club has reached its capacity in both staff and funding.

As a non-profit organization, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sequoias relies on donations to cover most of its hard costs while grants often cover programming materials. That’s why the club is holding a fundraiser for the Exeter club this Friday, April 21. Raj and Minty Dillon will play host to a dinner at their home, 178 Valley View Drive on Badger Hill, from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased online at www.bgcsequoias.org of by mailing a check to 1003 San Juan Ave., Exeter, CA 93221. For more information, call 559-592-4074.

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