The Boys & Girls Club of the Greater Chippewa Valley’s Menomonie Center will celebrate its grand opening at a ribbon cutting ceremony at 4 p.m. on Tuesday at River Heights Elementary School (615 24 th Ave. West).

A steering committee comprised of business and community leaders from Menomonie has been working over the past four years to make this possible, completing a community needs assessment, feasibility study, facility assessment and a successful fundraising campaign. The Boys & Girls Club–Menomonie Center will be a community resource as well as a safe, positive place providing free homework help, tutoring and academic programming for youth.

Boys & Girls Club programming will begin with River Heights Elementary students in grades three to five and will expand with transportation to the Club from other schools as club membership at River Heights is established.

It is the goal of the Menomonie Center to be open during the school year from 3 to 7 p.m. and during the summer from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

During the school year, the Club will provide daily snack and dinner available to all members of the Club. Members will be able to participate in all of the programs, meals, transportation, and special events for an annual membership fee of only $10 per person or $20 per family.

Founded in 1906, Boys & Girls Clubs of America offers structured programming, activities and meals for youth ages 8 to 18. The five core programs are: Character & Leadership, Health and Life Skills, the Arts, Sports, Fitness & Recreation and Education and Career. The organization’s mission is to provide a safe and positive place for families at a low cost. Today, 4,000 Boys and Girls Clubs serve 5 million kids across the country.

Locally, the Boys & Girls Club of the Greater Chippewa Valley started in 2004 and oversees the Mary Markquart Center in Eau Claire, as well as the Jackson County Center in Black River Falls and the Chippewa Falls Center in Chippewa Falls. The Menomonie Center will be the fourth organization under the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Greater Chippewa Valley.

For questions or comments, contact Sara Antonson, executivedirector, at the Boys & Girls Club Corporate Office in Eau Claire at (715) 855-0081.

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Dunn County News editor

Barbara Lyon is the editor of The Dunn County News in Menomonie, WI.

(1) comment

Oldtime00

Great to see Menomonie establishing positive programming for elementary youth, but what about the many middle school students whom desperately need social skill training and the many high school-aged youth in Menomonie that do not identify with athletics or school affiliated extra-curricular activities? This is disappointing from the perspective of a former MAPS student and former BGC employee when things are not done correctly the first time. Parents make sure to keep an eye on BGC administration in order to keep the funding with the kids and not in their (Ms.A's) pocket book. Poorly managed clubs steal and falsify evidence of success.

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