Boys & Girls Club, SDR collaborate on program space
By Eileen Persike
The Boys & Girls Club of the Northwoods has announced it is working with the School District of Rhinelander (SDR) to potentially provide program space on school property. Steering committee leader Kyle Parish said the school district’s collaboration would cut costs and allow the programs to begin sooner.
“We just need to raise enough money to hire our staff,” Parish said. “But with COVID and everything else, we’re still trying to do fundraising. It’s not been an easy task but a lot of people are putting a lot of effort into it.”
“We are hopeful that providing a facility will help in their fundraising efforts to provide programming and support for our children and families,” said SDR Superintendent Eric Burke.
The organization has recently changed its name from the Boys & Girls Club of Oneida County to Northwoods – Rhinelander site to be more all-encompassing.
Efforts to bring a Boys & Girls Club to Rhinelander began in December 2019. At the time Parish said organizers were beginning a capital campaign that would raise $750,000 to cover three year’s worth of operating funds and the costs to purchase and renovate a building. Today, after a year of closures and social distancing due to the pandemic, sights are set a little lower.
“We still do monthly Zoom meetings to come up with [fundraising] ideas,” Parish said. “We just sent out a bunch of flyers to people that we think might be capable of donating. As soon as we have $50,000 in the bank, then we’re going to hire someone.”
He is optimistic the club will be able to hire staff, including two full-time and a couple of part-time employees, and open in the summer at Central elementary school. Parish said unlike a couple of large “special interest projects” in the community, the Boys & Girls Club is for everyone.
“This would encompass anyone in the community,” Parish said. “This helps out a wide berth of people, not just specific people.
“With everything that’s going on in the country – they talk about racial inequalities, social inequality – the Boys and Girls Club focuses on making sure everyone can attend.”
For more information or to make a donation, visit bgcnorthwoods.org.