Boys, girls club makes successes

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 24, 2001

Morgan Shands sees Boys & Girls Clubs as making &uot;success stories&uot; out of young people across the nation.

That’s why the special assistant attorney general in the youth services division is pushing to bring such a club for Natchez.

&uot;We’re very excited about coming together with folks in Natchez to push this project forward,&uot; Shands said.

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The opening of such a club moved a bit closer last week as the club’s steering committee held its first meeting.

With Shands and a representative from the national Boys & Girls Club present, the committee selected Adams County Youth Court Judge John Hudson and Rep. Phillip West to serve as chairmen.

Bringing such a club to Natchez, is part of a statewide campaign to charter new Boys & Girls Clubs.

With $25,000 available through the state and another $25,000 available through the national Boys & Girls Club, the Natchez community needed to raise a $25,000 match and preferably an extra $25,000 to begin the process of opening such a club locally.

Already the community has committed close to $50,000 to the club including $4,000 pledged during last week’s meeting, West said.

&uot;There’s a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of optimism regarding this and I think for good reason,&uot; he said.

The steering committee wants to establish a local Boys & Girls Club at Thompson School on N. Union Street.

Some of its next steps will be to establish the organization’s bylaws, select a board of directors and apply for nonprofit status.

&uot;The goal is to have everything established before this year’s out,&uot; West said.

Shands agreed that was possible if the committee finishes improvements to Thompson School.

&uot;I think it’s foreseeable that we could be serving kids before Christmas,&uot; he said.