Future of local Boys & Girls Club in jeopardy
By LYNETTE SOWELL
The future of the Copperas Cove Boys & Girls Club is up in the air, and local reps will be holding two public meetings in Copperas Cove, in order to hopefully drum up more support in the form of more board members and to find a new location for its operations.
Not only is CCISD not renewing the lease it had with the Boys & Girls Club due to upcoming renovations at the Fairview-Jewell Elementary campus, part of which the club has leased for several years for $1 per month, the Copperas Cove Boys & Girls Club has lost all but two of its board members, with Sandor Vegh and Patricia Thomas being the remaining members.
Chief Professional Officer of the Boys & Girls Club of Central Texas, Jon Charles, said that there must be a seated board for the Copperas Cove branch to function as a 501c(3) nonprofit.
Charles said he hopes that the community comes out to support the club and find out more about the Boys & Girls Club.
“With our lease expiring May 31, we are looking for a place, at least 5,000 square feet,” said Vegh, who has been on the board for years, as has Thomas. “We don’t have to have a gymnasium, but something where the children can run around.”
Vegh said the board is a working board, with focus on fundraising for the club to sustain its operations.
In the past, the Boys & Girls Club held a “Music at the Gap” event which was used as a fundraiser, but that was not held in 2017. The club previously held a “Day for Kids” in Copperas Cove City Park, and a similar event in September 2017 at Ogletree Gap Park was not well attended.
The first public meeting will take place on Thursday, February 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Copperas Cove Public Library, with the second to take place on Monday, February 26, also at 6:30 p.m. at the same location, Charles said.
The Copperas Cove Boys & Girls Club serves about 200 students who otherwise would not have a place to be after school, or whose parents would not otherwise be able to afford afterschool care. In Copperas Cove, the fee is $100 per year for students to join, with an additional charge for those who need afterschool transportation to the Fairview-Jewell location. Students receive a snack, help with homework, and have a choice of activities to choose from, with the center being open until 7 p.m. on school nights.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas hired Jessica Smith in October as the new branch director for Copperas Cove, where she works at the center operating out of the Fairview-Jewell campus.