Safe place for children looks for funding

Published 12:27 am Wednesday, November 14, 2007

NATCHEZ — As the Boys and Girls Club of the Miss-Lou prepares for their biggest fundraiser of the year, they are also making plans for the future.

The upcoming fundraiser, the Steak and Stake Dinner and Auction, will be on Dec. 6.

Chief Officer for the Miss-Lou Boys and Girls Club, Faye Minor, said the event is important to the club.

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“It’s absolutely critical,” she said. “Money we make at the fundraiser goes to running all of our programs.”

Minor said she hopes the fundraiser will bring in several thousand dollars for the club.

And from the size of the Miss-Lou Club she’ll need every penny of that money.

Covering four counties in the area, the Miss-Lou club is currently serving about 5,000 children, Minor said.

And on Tuesday Boys and Girls Club of America Regional Service Director Clyde McGuire was in Natchez to see that the future of the club is as strong as its past.

McGuire was leading board members and staff members with the program in what he called a developmental self-assement.

The assessment, McGuire said, is designed to make the club run as smoothly as possible by addressing any current problems and planning for the future.

However, McGuire said that the Miss-Lou club is so well run that it requires mostly planning for the future.

“This program is run exceptionally well,” he said.

McGuire said the Miss-Lou club is an excellent combination of good staffing and a good board of directors.

“When those two things work together it makes for a very strong program,” he said.

Since it was established in 2000, the rapid growth of the Miss-Lou club has made fundraising top priority, McGuire said.

McGuire said since the Boys and Girls Club maintains a high staff-to-child ratio, and since the staff is paid, then the club must keep fundraising to keep growing or just support itself.

To put it in perspective, Minor said, they hoped to make $12,000 in their first year’s fundraiser. She said this year they need to make about $60,000.

And both McGuire and Minor agree the reason for the club’s success is simple.

“Kids need a place where they feel safe,” she said. “And when they have a place they feel safe and they feel love, it all just grows from there.”