Don’t let politics get in the way of recreation

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 5, 2001

It’s a shame when politics get in the way of recreation. But we fear that potential lurks in the efforts to bring and Boys and Girls Club to Natchez and Adams County.

Local organizers could receive as much as $25,000 from the state Legislature and another $25,000 from the national organization if they can raise $25,000 to $50,000 locally and establish a board of directors within the next two weeks.

While the idea seems to be universally embraced and endorsed in the community, control of the organization and ultimately location of the club have sparked debate. A group of local elected officials, including city, county and state leaders, say the club should be housed in Thompson School, since it will primarily serve the black community.

Now, the local leaders of the Salvation Army have withdrawn their offer to help organize and oversee the club – by donating two buildings and as much as $150,000 – through a national partnership between the Salvation Army and the Boys and Girls clubs. It was a gracious withdrawal, but unfortunate. We wish the local leaders would have found a way to involve and utilize the Salvation Army in the efforts to develop a Boys and Girls Club.

And it certainly seems taking an abundance approach – by realizing that room exists for everyone’s involvement and efforts – certainly would yield more fruitful results in the long run. Our elected officials should realize this, and they should provide the leadership needed to build programs that are inclusive and unifying in our community.

Ultimately, the club is something that would greatly benefit all our young people here in Adams County.