March 22nd, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 12
Boys and Girls Club looking for business sponsors
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Pass Herald Reporter
The Boys and Girls Club of Crowsnest Pass provides after-school activities to the children in the community and now, they are turning to the community for sponsorship support.

The Club is looking for Bronze, Silver or Gold sponsorship from local businesses.

“My vision is to keep building a stronger, bigger, better club and promote sustainability. That’s why I want to get the community involved. I want to work with the community and make closer ties, and if they can support us in this way, we can be like a big happy family,” says Program Director Karey Lee Watanabe.

Her idea, she says, is to provide all sponsors with a window sleeve that says “Proud supporter of the Boys and Girls Club” to proudly hang in the business window so that by the end of next year, all businesses along Main Streets in the Pass will display a decal.

According to Watanabe, $2,700 per week is required to run the Boys and Girls Club. While the organization does get funding and grants from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, the municipal government and other smaller grants, she says this funding covers only ordinary operations, leaving little room for supplementary expenses and no surplus for expansion.
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“You do get this money, but it’s only for a certain program. You can’t apply it to other things,” she says, explaining that a particular grant has stipulations attached to it where it can solely be used for a particular activity. “That’s where the management of all this funding really gets difficult, because you have to make it work for all of your costs. What I’m doing now is sustainability to keep us afloat.”

Watanabe says that there are several areas that the club would invest in with the proper financial means.

“The first priority is a bus because our current one is very old. Number two is we would love to have our own clubhouse. That’s also very expensive. After that, I’m trying to tie in the new clubhouse with building a youth center,” says Watanabe.

The Boys and Girls Club provides a safe, fun and educational after-school space for its members, a roster that increased from 176 children in 2016 to 235 this year. Especially considering that the closest towns with this a Boys and Girls Club are in Lethbridge or Cranbrook, Crowsnest Pass is lucky to have it in the community, says Tara-Lynn Reynolds, whose daughter is a full-time member of the Club.
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“The Club is amazing and I couldn’t be without it. For one, they provide childcare for my daughter because I don’t get off work until 5:00, working at the time. They’re a Club that actually does things with my daughter. It’s not like having a babysitter where she’s stick in the house watching TV. They go kayaking, they go horseback riding, hiking, skiing, they do educational programs. I love the Club.”

The Club goes further than just being a playtime substitute. Watanabe incorporates stimulating educational activities that teach the kids about the Pass’ history, health, safety, respect and other valuable life skills and lessons.

“The kids are constantly bombarded by cool things in their community. We provide a safe place for them to be, educational programs and healthy snacks. Because I’m an athlete, I love to teach them about a healthy lifestyle and an active lifestyle. I also like to promote the history of the area, so we’ll go and hang out at Leitch Collieries, or learn about the Frank Slide or Bellevue Mines.”

The Club currently has two full-time staff, three part-time/casual staff. For pricing, activities calendar, contact information and donation opportunities, visit www.
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March 22nd, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 12
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