Copperas Cove Boys & Girls Club holds grand opening event

Facility dedicated, named for longtime supporters Wallace and Emmadell Vernon

By PAMELA GRANT
Cove Leader-Press

After moving locations time after time for years, the Boys & Girls Club of Copperas Cove finally has a permanent home.

Located on 206 Laura St., the Boys & Girls Club were proud to hold their grand opening ceremony starting at 10 a.m. They combined the grand opening with their Kids Day, a naming dedication, and a car show. The busy day also included BBQ, bounce houses, and various kid friendly activities.

Their permanent home was made possible thanks to the generous donation of the land and the buildings on it by Wallace and Emmadell Vernon.

On Saturday morning, they honored the Vernons by naming the facility the Boys & Girls Club of Copperas Cove W. & E. Vernon Family Unit.

In 2018, the Boys & Girls Club was about $100,000 in debt, but dedicated board members were able to get rid of the debt and even had extra money.

Unfortunately, they knew they were not going to be able to remain in the same building for much longer and they were not going to be able to afford their own building. That in mind, they went to members to ask for ideas, Wallace Vernon being one of them, and Vernon ultimately made the choice to donate the land and buildings.

Wallace Vernon was a Treasurer for the Boys & Girls Club for 53 years. Vernon said that he’s always been involved with the Boys & Girls Club. He’d been supporting the club through the Bingo halls that were previously on the land. He’s been involved in the community and really appreciates what the club does for the community and was more than happy to give them the land and support them in whatever way he could.

“There was a need. They needed a home that they could call their own,” said Vernon, who was excited to see what they had done with the building.

“It’s a wonderful organization for kids and teens,” added Kathi Barksdale, Vernon’s daughter.

After the name dedication and ribbon cutting, many of the guests dispersed to check out the fun activities and the metallic beauties on display for the car show.

Joe Wilgeroth participated in the car show with his Chrysler 1920 custom.

“It’s always fun to come out and see the different vehicles,” said Wilgeroth.

Wilgeroth said that his main reason for participating in the car show was to help support the Boys & Girls Club. Wilgeroth said that his youngest son attended the Boys & Girls Club in Killeen while he was deployed, and it made a big difference for their family.

“It’s a good program for the community,” said Wilgeroth.

While everyone enjoyed the festivities, Khrystal Westeen, Boys & Girls Club Branch Director, said that she’s just excited and relieved that they were finally able to have their grand opening and that they are officially ready to have everyone come and see where they are.

“We’ve been here for a year now. We’ve slowly been getting things ready to go for our grand opening and we’ve been working really hard to get our teen center up and running. That is next door and will be open for the teens come spring break and summer,” said Westeen. “That way they have a place to go when there is no school. We have Boys & Girls Clubs that operate during school, but when school’s out, they need a place to go.”

Westeen said that she has worked for the Boys & Girls Club for 12 years (her first year was as a volunteer) and that they moved four or five times during that time. She said that it feels amazing to finally have their place up and running and knowing that they do not have to move anywhere and that they have a permanent place for the children to go.

“It’s absolutely amazing. I cannot express enough how great it feels to me and my supervisor Ms. Brandy,” said Westeen. “Every time we both get chills and emotional just to see how far we’ve gotten in such a short amount of time.”

 

Copperas Cove Leader Press

2210 U.S. 190
Copperas Cove, TX 76522
Phone:(254) 547-4207