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Grant provides much-needed boost for Lawrence Boys and Girls Club

MONTICELLO — The Lawrence County Boys and Girls Club received amuch-needed boost recently when it was informed it would be beginreceiving more than $62,000 in state and Federal funding startingin November.

MONTICELLO — The Lawrence County Boys and Girls Club received amuch-needed boost recently when it was informed it would be beginreceiving more than $62,000 in state and Federal funding startingin November.

The money, through the Department of Human Services YouthAssistance Act, will be administered by the Lawrence CountySheriff’s Office and the LCBGC, according to Mayor David Nichols,chairman of fund-raising for the club.

“This money will be used for salaries, supplies and awards foroutstanding achievements,” he said.

Sheriff Joel Thames said the grant was through the same programwhich funds such activities as the midnight basketball league. Thegrant is for programs designed to provide activities for childrento keep them away from crime and off the streets.

“We could have formed a midnight basketball league,” Thamessaid, “but we, the Boys and Girls Club and sheriff’s office, feelthat at midnight children should be sleeping.”

The Boys and Girls Club was trying for a January 2001 kickoff.They needed $90,000 to fund three sites during the school year atTopeka, New Hebron and Monticello Elementary and one consolidatedsite during the summer. Nichols said they were still far short ofthat goal when they received the news of the grant.

Not only will the grant provide them with the funding for thenext year, but it will also allow them to start two months early.The Boys and Girls Club will now begin in November.

“Through the efforts of the sheriff, mayor, Boys and Girls Cluband Community Development Association, this basically gives usenough money to run during the school year and gives us atwo-months-earlier head start,” Nichols said.

The Boys and Girls Club will offer children from kindergartenthrough high school an opportunity to study and join in funactivities after school each day at the school.

The first hour of each day is devoted to homework and studying.Fun-oriented activities begin afterwards.

“This program will allow homework to get done, provide tutors tohelp them with any problem and keep them active with safe, funactivities after school,” Thames said.

Thames said groups and organizations are welcome to makepresentations to encourage the youth. These presentations can rangefrom the hands-on, such as arts and crafts, to religious andsafety-oriented programs.

“We invite everyone to share their knowledge and skill with theyounger generation,” he said.

The sheriff’s office itself, Thames said, will be hostingpresentations to teach drug awareness and prevent underagedrinking.

One local club has already become involved with the Boys andGirls Club and Nichols said he would like to take the opportunityto thank them.

“We would also like to thank the Lawrence County Civitan Clubfor the use of their old building at the fairgrounds as the officeof the Boys and Girls Club,” Nichols said.

In an unrelated matter, Nichols also said the city was notifiedthat it would receive more than $50,000 in a Partnership for aHealthy Lawrence-Jefferson Davis County grant. This is the thirdyear the grant has been awarded to Lawrence County to teachchildren about the ill effects of tobacco use.