Natchez Trace Kiwanis donates bus to local club

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 1, 2009

NATCHEZ — A huge yellow donation to the Boys and Girls Club will save the group thousands of dollars.

On Thursday morning in front of its headquarters, Boys and Girls Club Director Faye Minor took the keys to a school bus donated by the Natchez Trace Chapter of the Kiwanis Club.

And while the bus isn’t new, Minor said the good it will do for the program is not easily measured.

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“It’s unbelievable,” Minor said. “We just cannot thank them enough.”

Minor said each day the program picks up groups of children from several local schools and shuttles them to the Boys and Girls Club building behind the Margaret Martin Performing Arts Center for after-school programs.

Since the program did not have its own transportation, the group was hiring a bus service, Minor said.

And that was costing the program approximately $10,000 a year.

“Now, this is a huge savings for us,” she said.

Jim Franklin, president of the local Kiwanis Club, said once his group became aware of the great expense for the program, they began working on a plan to get the group a bus of its own.

“This fits in with our mission,” Franklin said. “This is a project that can help make the community and its children better.”

Franklin said the Kiwanis worked on fundraising projects to raise the approximately $2,500 needed to buy the bus.

“Now that they have the bus, they can start redirecting their funds,” Franklin said of the money the group will now save.

And for Minor, the savings couldn’t have come soon enough.

She said the money the group will save on busing will now go directly to the summer arts program.

“This is really going to boost the whole program,” she said.