Hawk-Houston Youth Enrichment Center turns 55 and looks for help from the community

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Fifty-five years - that's how long the Hawk-Houston Youth Enrichment Center has been working with kids in Dothan.

Now, it's looking for a little help.

"I learned how to bounce a basketball at the boys club,” said Dothan City Commissioner Kevin Dorsey. “I met a lot of life-long friends at the boys club because we went to school together at Girard. We walked together. I remember walking to Chumplers Grocery buying quarter sodas, a lot of great memories over there."

Dothan District One City Commissioner Kevin Dorsey spent plenty of hours after school and summers at the Hawk-Houston Youth Enrichment Center.

At the time it was the Hawk-Houston Boys Club, but now it’s open to all kids in the area.

"Every community needs a light for kids to give them something to aim towards, because I think back when I was young, the people in the boys club when I went really made an impact in my life,” said Dorsey.

The center is in the middle of its summer camp, where kids are getting to do things like visiting the Wiregrass Museum of Art, the Dothan Junior Police Academy and fishing at East Gate Park.

"I kind of just like the family atmosphere here," said a Hawk-Houston Center member.

The center separated from the National Boys & Girls Club to become its own non-profit in January of 2018.

That means it no longer receives funding from the national organization.

So, it’s trying to raise $55,000 during its 55th summer, to help families that can't afford enrollment fees and bring on more full time employees.

"And right now for our after school program, one of our biggest problems is transportation,” said Hawk-Houston Executive Director Altha R. Newman. “We're trying to get us a van that we can go around to the schools and provide pick up for the kids as well."

For Dorsey, it's a cause worth supporting, so kids can have some of the same experiences he had growing up.

"If you believe in their vision, their mission and their goal, then pretty much you buy in to it, and I'm a firm believer people give to who and what they believe in,” said Dorsey.

Hawk-Houston’s fundraising campaign runs through July 30th.

You can donate at the center which is located on 329 Chickasaw Street in Dothan, or on the website, WWW.Hawkhoustonyec.org.

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