OAKHURST — About three dozen people turned out Monday night for an emergency ‘Call to Action’ meeting organized to help save the local Boys & Girls Club.
The nonprofit club, which has been operating in Oakhurst since 1999, announced last week it would be temporarily closing for the summer at the end of June because of an ongoing lack of funding.
Without a longer-term solution to the club’s financial woes, board president Doug Macaulay has said the club might have to close permanently. He was much more upbeat following the Monday night meeting.
“I thought it went pretty well,” he says. “We had maybe thirty or forty people come out and several of them gave us some donations.”
Macaulay shares that a number of people also offered to assist the organization with fundraising.
“And I also got with a couple of people who I think could be good potential board members.”
At Monday night’s meeting, a handful of club members and several parents of children who use the center spoke about how important the club is to their lives.
“People weren’t real happy to hear we were closing for the summer but nobody got really angry at the meeting,” Macaulay notes. “I think it was productive.”
A board meeting will take place at the club tonight, Tuesday, June 18, and Macaulay remains optimistic the facility “will reopen this fall in time for school.”
“In the next week or so, we plan to go out in to the community and do a concerted, thirty-day fundraising campaign,” he says. “I’m going to ask as many people as I can to give us as much money as they can.”
Macaulay said the club needs about $75,000 to reopen.
“That would give us a cushion into our next fundraiser, which is the Christmas tree auction,” Macaulay explains. “Ideally, to do this right, we’ll need 20 or 25 people, including board members, to get involved in the campaign.”
Macaulay says he also hopes to add new board members soon, perhaps as soon as later this week.
Club manager Jennifer Simmons was also upbeat after Monday night’s meeting.
“I’ve been getting emails and calls all morning from people wanting to help,” Simmons says, adding that club members are planning to hold a car wash to raise funds for the club on Saturday, June 22, in the parking lot of the Oakhurst Medical Group across Highway 49 from Vons.
“Clean Oakhurst Comedy is also giving us one hundred percent of the proceeds from an upcoming show at the Hitching Post in Ahwahnee on June 28,” Simmons said.
“After last night’s meeting, people all around the area are rallying around the club. I think we’ll be back open sooner than later.”
Those looking to help the Oakhust Boys & Girls Club can contact either Macaulay at (559) 683-4494 or Simmons at (559) 642-4600.