The Boys and Girls Club of Oakhurst has served as a safe place for kids in the Mountain Area for over two decades.
The club typically opens after school and provides members with an opportunity to engage in activity-based programming, take advantage of homework assistance, as well as build leadership skills. It is funded through donations and fundraising efforts put on by the board as well as its supporters. Through this generosity, it has been able to serve thousands of youth over the past two decades, providing them with the skills and tools they need to be successful in life.
“When my father, Archie, helped start the club back in 99’ I knew that it was going to help fill a void for many of the youth in our community, but I never imagined it being so successful all these years later… it really is incredible,” said board president Doug Macaulay.
During their July meeting, the club’s board of directors voted to elect a new club president, Doug’s son, Bobby Macaulay. “I am excited to pass the torch back to my son, he was able to serve as president for a number of years so I am confident that he can continue on with the good work.” said Doug.
Bobby served as board president from 2014-2018. Alongside Unit Director, Jennifer Simmons, as a team they were able to grow the club’s membership and program offerings. “I can’t say enough good things about Jen,” said Bobby. “She and her family have been such difference makers for the club, I am so grateful to know and work alongside them.” Jennifer started working at the club in 2014 and has been a pillar in the community since taking on her position as Unit Director.
Daily club programming includes epic science time, triple play, club leadership activities, and art and crafts, but the club offers a variety of other programs throughout the year including youth athletics, camps, and field trips.
While the club is largely supported by donations, they do charge a small membership fee for their services. The club has created a tiered membership fee that ranges between $1.50 and $7 depending on a family’s income. “We never want to deny a child the opportunity to attend because of their ability or family’s ability to pay” noted Macaulay. Due to staffing constraints, the club is only able to service 30 youth a day and is open Monday through Friday until 5PM. “We would like to be able to serve more youth and stay open until 6PM, but we have had a difficult time hiring additional staff,” said Macaulay. The club is currently looking for a part-time staffer to work fifteen hours a week.
When asked about his goals for the club, Macaulay explained that he would like to see operations expand into the neighboring communities of North Fork, Coarsegold, Ahwahnee, and Raymond. “We know that there is a need for us in these communities but have had a difficult time taking it past preliminary discussions with the school districts. I am hopeful that we can bring on a few board members who are active in those communities, so they can help us get the job done.” The Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst meets online at 5:30 the last Monday of each month.
Those interested in joining the board or volunteering at the club can email Maria Simmons at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone interested in supporting the club through tax deductible contributions can visit the club online at OakhurstBGC.org.