Boys & Girls Club shares goals with community leaders

Published 6:07 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Star Photo/Abby Morris-Frye
Erin Handy, an 8th grade student at Hampton Elementary, shares the story of what the Boys and Girls Club means to her with community leaders during a special Friendship Breakfast at the Club Tuesday morning.

Community leaders visited the Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County on Tuesday morning for a special “Friendship Breakfast” to hear updates on the Club and the ways it serves children in the community.
Boys & Girls Club Board Chairman David Batchelder welcomed those in attendance and shared his own experience of becoming involved with the program. Batchelder said he was invited to tour the facility and when he saw what the club was doing for the community he wanted to be involved.
“Little did I know how much the Club does for the children of this community,” Batchelder said. “A lot of them don’t have anybody at home to help them with their homework but they do at the Club. For a lot of them, the best meal they get each day is here at the Club. That’s not all of them, but it is a lot of them.”
“This club makes a big difference for a lot of kids in this community,” Batchelder added. “It gives kids the chance to succeed.”
A lot of changes have been happening recently at the Club, including a new look and upgrades to better serve the Club’s members.
Executive Director Ginny Wright provided an update to those in attendance. Through grants from Rotary, Walmart and the Carter County Community Foundation, the Club has been able to improve the facilities. Inside the Club has a new look thanks to fresh paint, a new tech room is being added behind the homework room and the art room will also be getting some updates, Wright said.
“We’ve got a ton going on in the building,” she said.
The Club and its Board are also looking to the future with a Strategic Plan to help the Club achieve goals and better financial stability over the course of the next two years.
“We’ve made a ton of progress in the past three years,” Wright. “We’ve built our budget up. We’re serving more kids than we ever have.”
“But, we’re not done,” she added.
As part of the two-year Strategic Plan, Wright said the Club wants to provide the children enrolled with the optimal club experience, reduce staff turnover to help provide the children with consistent adult relationships, increase the Board size to 20 members, build a 90-day cash reserve to increase financial stability for the Club, and ensure that everyone in the community knows who the Club is and what the Club does.
Those in attendance also got to hear first hand the impact the Club can have on a child.
Club member Erin Handy, who is an 8th grader at Hampton Elementary, shared some of her Club experiences with the crowd, including meeting her best friend and building her own self confidence.
“The Boys & Girls Club has helped me become the best person I can be,” Handy said.
For more information on the Club’s, the programs it provides for children, or to become involved as a Club sponsor, contact the Boys & Girls Club at 423-543-2946 or visit them online at

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