Boys &Girls Club gets a fresh look|Open house, reception to celebrate work done by volunteers, members

Published 7:07 am Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Contributing Editor

On Sunday, the Boys and Girls Club of Beaufort County will show off its renovated site in Washington and its Village Initiative program.
An open house and reception to honor Village Initiative volunteers is scheduled from 3 to 5 p.m. at the club’s headquarters at 1089 N. Bridge St.
The Village Initiative program, under the supervision of Alice Mills Sadler, the club’s chief professional officer, enlisted club members, their parents, club staff, volunteers, businesses and others to help renovate and repair the club’s headquarters in the former Bridge Street Recreation Center.
To that end, painters, carpenters, masons and the like committed to being a part of the program.
The goal was to make the headquarters a safer, more attractive facility. The club also has a facility in Belhaven.
During the open house, the club will recognize the efforts of several people and groups involved in the project, including Rosa Norfleet and her family, minister Ernest Moore, the Blue Hats of Cypress Landing and Petre Franks.
Norfleet family members were instrumental in restoring the gym at the club’s Washington site. The Blue Hats, a group of volunteers who do work for charitable organizations, built new offices and classrooms. Moore rebuilt the Washington unit’s reception desk. Franks painted and supervised the painting of the facility, working weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays to get it done.
“Some members, like Jevon Hagins, have been involved throughout the process. Jevon has been at the club every day doing everything from cleaning and removing tiles to supervising volunteers,” said Mills-Sadler, adding that she’s pleased with the first phase of the Village Initiative.
“I would have liked to have had more members’ parents participate,” she said. “The community at large came out in full force.”
But there’s more to the Village Initiative than just fixing up the clubhouse. The project’s next step calls for strengthening program offerings and community support at the Washington and Belhaven facilities.
“We want to revamp our programming so we can offer more programs for our children and rebuild our volunteer force, especially in academics,” Mills-Sadler said Tuesday.
Also, the club is more than just a place for children to play games and sports after school, according to its supporters. It offers health-related, educational and character-building programs, Mills-Sadler said.