Clubs’ supporters pledge to unite behind ‘Y’ effort

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 13, 2001

JONESVILLE, La. – A resolution will be introduced in the next directors’ meeting of the Boys & Girls Club of the Delta to disband that organization, allowing members to put all of their their support behind the Concordia/Catahoula YMCA effort.

&uot;If you feel there is not enough money to support both organizations, and your concern is for the youngsters and their well-being, we need to try to get behind one organization,&uot; said Clarence Hymon, outgoing president of the Boys & Girls Club’s board.

That is because in an area as rural as Concordia and Catahoula parishes, the organizations would be competing for the same dollars, Hymon said. His comments were made during a one-hour meeting of more than 20 supporters of both groups Thursday night at Jonesville’s Town Hall.

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A regional director of the Boys & Girls Club had committed last month to give the local club $55,000 to help fund its programs. In addition, the club was set to receive a $21,169 grant from the Red River Delta Planning & Development District.

But the club’s supporters would still have to raise $30,000 in donations locally to match that money. And the club will lose the $21,169 grant if it can’t hire a director and raise the $30,000 in donations by the end of July – which it cannot, Hymon said.

Meanwhile, the board of Recreation District No. 1 has pledged to allocate $25,000 a year for the next three years to help establish a YMCA to serve Concordia and Catahoula parishes.

That pledge was made on the condition that the YMCA committee would also raise another $75,000 from other sources.

But with supporters – and donations- split between the YMCA and Boys and Girls Club groups, resources were spread too thin for both groups to survive, supporters said at the meeting.

Alex Promise, administrative assistant for the Town of Ferriday and YMCA committee vice-chairman; and Ferriday Mayor Glen McGlothin said they have met several times in recent weeks, to try and solve the problem.

&uot;It’s not my ego, it’s not your ego – it’s about helping the children that we’ve been talking about helping for the last 20 years,&uot; McGlothin said.

Hymon’s resignation as board president has been submitted and will take effect July 27.

The YMCA Steering Committee will then hold a new election to choose committee members and officers, including former Boys & Girls Club officials, Promise said.

Thursday’s meeting was a step in the right direction, said Rodney Martin. Martin is the executive director of the YMCA of Central Louisiana, of which the Concordia/Catahoula YMCA would be a branch.

&uot;I’m glad I had the opportunity to come down and experience what’s going on here,&uot; Martin said. &uot;I think you all are starting to make a positive change in your communities.&uot;

The need for YMCA facilities in Jonesville – although it is not yet clear where those facilities would be located – is clear, Mayor Billy Edwards said at the end of the meeting.