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Boys & Girls Club reveals newly renovated facility

Students at the Boys & Girls Club of the Coastal Plain’s Washington Unit have three new reasons to smile, thanks to generous donations from the community.

Due to support of three community organizations, children and youth will now enjoy a newly renovated facility, complete with indoor program areas, an outdoor shelter and redone bathrooms.

Between the Cannon Foundation, Lowe’s Home Improvement and Vidant Beaufort Hospital, the three organizations invested a total of $102,400 to complete the renovations.

ACTIVITY SPACE: This outdoor shelter, donated by Lowe’s Home Improvement, will allow students to enjoy outside activities, even during inclement weather. (Matt Debnam/Daily News)

On Tuesday, more than 50 people gathered for a grand unveiling of the updated facility, enjoying tours from students and conversations with leaders of the BGCCP.

“We owe a huge thanks to those three organizations who funded and helped us get this amazing rebirth,” Boys & Girls Club of the Coastal Plain Board Chair Jill Camnitz said during the unveiling. “We’re all so excited about it.”

A special guest at the event, BGCCP President and CEO Kimberly Boyd, who oversees the operation of 17 units in Pitt, Lenoir, Beaufort, Greene, Martin, Carteret and Craven counties, spoke of the messages a space can send to a young person.

“What our space communicates to our kids is what we invest in them, how we value them as young people and what their futures can hold in store,” Boyd said. “That’s what this renovation really does. It tells our young people that they are our future, that we are invested in them and that we have great hopes and expectation for them and their success.”

HAPPY STUDENTS: Boys and Girls Club Students Jenaysha Pittman, Montresa Pittma, Bryonna Pope, Kevin Moore Jr. and Ja’Nya Boston pose for a photo during the Tuesday unveiling. (Matt Debnam/Daily News)

For Unit Director Darnell Maye, who oversaw the renovations at the site from start to finish, the words of one student summed it up best: to come into the newly renovated space was simply, “home sweet home.”

“It’s been an awesome opportunity to witness from Lowe’s, Vidant, Cannon and the community pulling together just how the building has transformed to a place the kids are proud to come,” Maye said.

Maye expressed gratitude to all those who had assisted in the effort through both work and prayers. He encouraged the community to continue praying for the program to keep inspiring young lives.

“Some of the kids in the area don’t think they deserve first-class treatment,” Maye said. “But we’re showing them first class. If we give them the best, we can pull the best out of them and expect the best from them.”

Before the group was given tours of the facility by Boys & Girls Club students, those assembled heard closing remarks from Kevin Moore Jr., the 2017 Beaufort County Youth of the Year. Moore thanked the organizations involved in the renovations and expressed gratitude to the community as a whole.

YOUNG LEADER: Kevin Moore Jr., a Boys & Girls Club student and Beaufort County’s 2017 Youth of the Year, speaks about the impact the renovations have had on him and his fellow students. (Matt Debnam/Daily News)

“We really want to thank our community for helping us,” Moore said. “The club before wasn’t really a ‘home sweet home,’ but now it’s really improved. Sometimes times can be hard, but it will get better if you pray and keep your faith.”

Moore’s classmates proceeded to lead the guests on tours of the facility, showing off the new program areas they enjoy the most. From the outdoor shelter to the new activity rooms, it was clear that the kids were truly grateful and excited for these special gifts.

“Our mission is to create great futures for kids,” Boyd said after the presentation. “We believe that all kids grow up with big dreams, and we want to make sure we provide every opportunity for those dreams to come true.”

To learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain and how to get involved, visit www.bgccp.com.