Boys and Girls clubs kick off annual campaign

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Blount County kicked off its annual “BE Great” campaign this week.

The campaign will raise funds for the Clubs’ after-school programs and services for youth, ages 6-17, living in Blount County, Maryville and Alcoa. Scheduled to run April 6 through May 16, the campaign seeks donations primarily from individuals.

Sandy Johnson and Bill Kilgore are serving as the campaign’s co-chairs. The campaign’s goal this year is to raise $60,000 for the Clubs’ annual operating budget.

“We are proud to announce that we have commitments from 100 percent of our board members and staff,” Kilgore said. “All we need now is the rest of our community to show their support, and we will be able to reach, maybe even exceed, our goal.”

The clubs are making a difference in the community, Johnson said. “Last year, our local clubs served over 585 children,” Johnson said. “But there are still many more children in our community who need the kind of positive influence and guidance the Clubs provide, and we want to reach out to these youth and their families.”

The Boys and Girls Clubs’ mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need them most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.

“The cost of providing the Boys & Girls Club experience to one child for a year is about $1,000,” Kilgore said. “You can see what a valuable investment that is when you compare it to the cost of incarcerating a youth who went in the wrong direction - usually $50,000 or more. The Clubs give a good return on investment.”

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