Atlantic City's Boys & Girls Club will have a summer program. But more work — and a lot of money — is needed to keep going beyond that.
David Ross was put in charge of trying to right the financial woes and given a two-week deadline to have enough to reopen for at least a limited summer program.
A donation from Philadelphia businessman Lewis Katz — who also owns the Philadelphia Inquirer — along with several others was the reason the eight-week program will be able to serve 150 city youths during June, July and August, according to the announcement made by the Board of Directors on Tuesday.
Other donations were from former Sen. Bill Gormley, AtlantiCare and South Jersey Gas.
The program will operate under consultation with the Milton and Betty Katz JCC.
To keep from repeating the past money problems, a goal to raise an additional $500,000 by Aug. 31, has been set. An additional $900,000 will be required to sustain programs into 2015 and on an annual basis thereafter.
“The work is not nearly done, but the Boys & Girls Club has taken the first step to recovery,” Mayor Don Guardian said. “It was very important to me that the club have a summertime program for our kids. I also know how important it is to our parents that they have somewhere productive to send their kids this summer. And working together, we were able to accomplish just that.”
Club board member Joe Corbo credited Guardian with garnering the supporters.
“We are very heartened by the outpouring of support from the community since we made the difficult decision to close and reorganize,” said Corbo, who is vice president and general counsel at Borgata. “While this is great news, we are by no means out of the woods beyond the summer. Our board is energized and will continue to reorganize the club’s finances, program and leadership to provide a sound foundation to build the future of the club.
Loss of grants and failure to aggressively fund raise have been named as reasons the club had to close. A satellite building in Chelsea had to close in February.
“Now we must continue to focus on the long-term viability of the Boys & Girls Club,” Guardian said. “ We have successfully navigated this summer-time challenge, but far more work is needed.”
The club has asked Atlantic Cape's Continuing Education Division to be a training partner in their proposal to provide customized training as they applied for a grant from the NJ Department of Education Youth Builds Grants Program.
Their proposal is funded by the NJ Department of Education and, if approved, Atlantic Cape would receive $88,466.13 from the grant for development and delivery of Adult Basic Education including GED/ESL studies, Job Readiness training and college awareness for 25 students during the term of Sept. 1, 2014 through Aug 31, 2015.
For more information on how to help the club meet its goal, call Dan Goldberg at 609- 345-5888 or Joe Corbo at 609-317-7007.
Those wishing to register their children for the summer program can come to the club weekdays between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. or call 609-347-2697.
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