OZARK -- The Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Alabama has provided more than 1,000 children a "home away from home" since 1996. With a year-round waiting list, it is obvious that its services are appreciated in Ozark.
In 2009, the Club began the "Building Dreams" capital campaign with a goal to raise between $350,000 to $400,000 over two years. The Wiregrass Foundation provided the Club with $100,000 matching grant on the basis that they would come up with the $350,000.
Thanks to the Ozark City Council, foundations throughout Alabama and money raised from the Boys & Girls Club local fundraisers, they surpassed their goal.
Renovations have started at the Club. The new space will allow them to serve between 100 and 150 more children this summer.
Executive Director Lonnie Groomes is thankful to serve more children, he just wishes the Club did not have to turn anyone away.
"There's a big demand for afterschool and summer programs and I feel so sorry for the parents and the kids that can't get in here," Groomes said.
The expansion includes a new technology room, additional seating, more space for the choir and cheerleaders to practice as well as additional restrooms.