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Archive for Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ongoing effort

The Lawrence Boys and Girls Club deserves the community’s thanks for the difference it has made for local youngsters over the last 40 years.

February 14, 2012

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Forty years after its founding, the Lawrence Boys and Girls Club isn’t just a local fixture; it’s an agency that continues to expand and innovate to meet the growing needs of Lawrence youngsters.

In 1972, some people in Lawrence saw a need and, as so often happens in this community, set about to fill that need. The racial violence that erupted in Lawrence in 1970 prompted some local residents to take a look at a club that would give boys a safe place to go where they could participate in a variety of activities after school. Initially the club was just for boys, but the organizers successfully made the transition to including girls a few years later.

In recent years, the Lawrence Boys and Girls Club has become the city’s primary provider of after-school programs in the city. In addition to running a teen center at its main location at 1520 Haskell Ave., the club operates after-school programs at 10 local elementary schools and the former East Heights School.

It was a big decision to seek the federal grants to establish those programs, and the club’s board should be commended for having the courage to step in and try to fill a significant community need. The after-school programs have an educational component, but perhaps their most important benefit is that they provide a safe, supervised environment that working parents can trust to care for their children.

Over the years, many staff members and volunteers have provided the vision, leadership and energy needed to make the Lawrence Boys and Girls Club a success, and their efforts have made a difference in the lives of thousands of local youngsters. Congratulations to those who saw the need for such an organization and to all those who have helped it prosper for the last 40 years.

Comments

Lawrence Morgan 2 years, 10 months ago

They have helped friends of mine, and I am a big supporter of their work!

Lawrence Morgan 2 years, 10 months ago

I forgot something that's very important.

Why don't you have stories, with photographs, of people who have been members of the Lawrence Boys and Girls club, especially from years past. They would have a lot to say about how it influenced their lives.

jbaker2010 2 years, 10 months ago

I'm not sure whether you will receive this response to your comment or not, but I wanted to say that I agree with you that Dane Floyd should have been mentioned. If fact, I know that if my Uncle Bobby Lee were alive, he would have insisted as Dane was truly the type of young man that my uncle would have so very proud to have worked with and know that he was helping to mentor Boys & Girls of the Lawrence community into great men and women. I agree with all the comments regarding Dane, he truly was much like my uncle and he does deserve mention in the history of the club. The article could have also expounded on the role of my grandfather and his involvement with raising monies to run the club even after my uncle passed away. It could have also focused on the many activities and events that took place out at the Lee Farm for the Boys Club then....I remember very well the planning, the remodeling and everything that my uncle, my grandfather, Mr. Wells and other Jaycees did to make a dream come true. My uncle would be amazed! Next Celebration, I hope that the Boys and Girls Club and Lawrence Jaycess will include my family as this was a huge part of my uncle and grandparents' lives. Jan Carpenter-Baker Niece of Robert E. Lee and Granddaughter of A.E. Lee jancarpenterbaker@yahoo.com

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