Submitted by

Gerry Clare

The Nassau County Boys & Girls Club facility in Fernandina Beach on Lime Street is hoping to open its doors in September 2012, according to President Bill Gower.

Nassau Boys and Girls Club Constructs Fernandina Facility

This $2 million project has already raised $1.8 million and will be a great addition to the Fernandina Beach community. Students from age 6 to 16 have been attending the Miller Freedom Center Boys & Girls Club in Nassauville for 6 years to the tune of 175 to 228 students daily.

However, the current Fernandina Beach club located at Indigo and South 11th Streets has been operating for 4 years in a small building that holds 35 students with up to 75 members attending each  day.  Therefore, 2 years ago the decision was made to build the new building behind Southside Elementary School on school board land with a 99 year lease to hold up to 250 students a day.

The programs at both clubs have a staff ratio of 20 children to 1 staff and combine homework, athletics, music, arts, technology and leadership programs.  Bill Gower mentioned that he is “very proud of the fact that in the last 5 semesters over 30% of their members from both clubs have achieved Count Honor Roll with all A’s and B’s.”

Bill Gower and Patrick Sabadie

There are over 4600 Boys and Girls Clubs nationwide. There are two clubs in Nassau that operate daily from 2:15 p.m. to 7 p.m. during the school year and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the summer. However, the $600,000 yearly operating funds are an ongoing responsibility and are a combination of private fund raising and grant money. It is not too late to contribute to these efforts and you can go to the website  to find out more about their programs, buy a brick at the new Fernandina Beach Center or donate to the capital campaign. For more information contact the BGC Foundation office at 904-261-8666.

 

June 9, 2012 1:50 p.m.

 

 

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