December 20th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 51
Local division of Pass Boys and Girls Club dissolving
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Pass Herald Reporter
At a meeting on December 11, The Boys and Girls Club of Crowsnest Pass Board of Directors passed a special resolution to dissolve the organization. The Club will now be operating under The Boys and Girls Club of the Foothills with headquarters in Black Diamond, Alberta.

The Foothills club will assume full operation of the Crowsnest club as a service location on January 1, 2018. Programming in Crowsnest Pass will resume on January 15.

“This is a very positive step,” says Diane DeLauw, chairperson of the former Board of Directors. “We have struggled to keep the programs going locally. Sharing the work of management, administration, grant applications, compliance requirements, etcetera, with a larger entity will make a big difference. It is a way for the community to keep The Boys and Girls Club here.”

The Boys and Girls Club of Crowsnest Pass had been struggling for some time in several areas. As a result, the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Crowsnest Pass announced in August 2017 that they would not be offering the after-school program for the fall season.
As executive director of the Foothills club Shirley Puttock explains, as of January 1, all current and future capital will be transferred to the financial accounts of the Boys and Girls Club of the Foothills, but will still be used for programming in Crowsnest Pass. It will now be the responsibility of the Foothills club to seek new funding for Crowsnest Pass.
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There is one administration responsible for operating all locations of the Boys and Girls Club of the Foothills, which includes a club in Black Diamond, Turner Valley, High River, Nanton and, now, Crowsnest Pass.

The Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Club of the Foothills has at least one board member from each of their service locations. Meetings are facilitated through phone, Skype or other technology.

The Foothills Board’s first priority will be to incorporate Crowsnest Pass into their strategic plan in January. They will also be appointing a Crowsnest Pass resident to the Board of Directors.

“You need to know what the needs of the community are and for that, you need local people. So our board will go out and actively seek new board members from Crowsnest Pass,” says Puttock.

Establishing a clubhouse, something that the Boys and Girls Club of Crowsnest Pass has long desired but due to lack of funding, was unable to attain, is also high on the agenda.

“Ideally in a perfect world, having a clubhouse is the way to go, but that will take some research and some conversations with town Council. It’s on my agenda to do in the new year,” says Puttock.

Although the new Board is excited to continue and build on the recreational and academic programs of the Boys and Girls Club in Crowsnest Pass, Puttock says parents and children shouldn’t notice any differences to the club culture and services themselves.

Programs will take place out of Isabelle Sellon School, Horace Allen School and Pete’s Park for summer programming.
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“We are keeping the front line staff, so it will make it an easier transition for children. They’re going to be at the same school, with the same staff,” she says. “We are always looking at new ways to make the programs better and give our kids more opportunities, more field trips, more access to career and education information, more access to volunteerism, more leadership programs for youth.”

Puttock says she also plans to apply for licensing through the Ministry of Human Services for the Crowsnest Pass location by the end of March 2018, which will allow families struggling financially to access subsidies.
“This means that there will be no barriers to families with respect to fees because once you are licensed, there are childcare subsidies available. One of our biggest philosophies is that we’re inclusive of all children, so fees are never a barrier,” says Puttock.

Prior to the acquisition, the Boys and Girls Club was operated as a recreational program, so families could not access subsidies with the province. The Club offered a subsidy option, which they covered within the club themselves.

According to Puttock, the benefit to obtaining licensing through the province is that “it makes the subsidy process more efficient and easier for families to access.”

To celebrate the return of the Boys and Girls Clubs in Crowsnest Pass, a “welcome back” party for children who signed up for the after-school program is to take place on January 15, 2018 from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Pete’s Park in Blairmore.
December 20th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 51
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