Boys and Girls Clubs fundraiser teen center donor deadline looms

A rendering of the the Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Nevada planned   teen center.

A rendering of the the Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Nevada planned teen center.

A bid to raise $400,000 for a teen center in Carson City, which would trigger a 3-for-1 match of $1.2 million more, faces a looming deadline despite doing well to date.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Nevada on Russell Way plans to build a teen center addition to the club’s building with the $1.6 million that would result from success in a campaign launched last month. But to get the 75 percent match pledged by a foundation requires 25 percent, or $400,000, be raised before Aug. 1.

Johnny Olivas, the organization’s board president and chief volunteer officer, says $230,000 has been raised with $170,000 more needed by the deadline. The $1.2 million part of financing package, contingent upon meeting the 25 percent capital campaign deadline, was pledged by The William N. Pennington Foundation. It’s named after the late gaming industry philanthropist who founded it.

Laurie Gorris, the club’s chief professional officer, has called it a once in a lifetime opportunity and Olivas said he is upbeat even though little more than two weeks remain.

“As a board, we’ve got our feet on the ground,” Olivas said this week. “Our board is working diligently.” He said members have some good things in the works to achieve the goal, “and I’m confident we will get there.”

Olivas provided renderings of the proposed teen center and said teens have been involved during the project’s planning process.

“They gave the architect their vision and he put it in these renderings and floor plan,” said Olivas. He said naming options for some donors are available, noted one is already taken for the center’s art room area, and added all sizes of contributions have been made and are being accepted. Among them, he said, was a $100,000 donation from a backer who preferred to remain anonymous.

The Pennington foundation, which is kicking in 75 percent of the project financing if the 25 percent goal is reached by July 31, is known for providing grants to Northern Nevada organizations in the fields of education, community service, health care or medical research.

The club’s teen center is expected to be in a 6,000 square foot addition to the existing 12,000 square foot facility at 1870 Russell Way, which is near the freeway bypass and north of East William Street/U.S. Highway 50 East.

When the campaign was launched publicly on June 5, Gorris not only called it a once in a lifetime chance but also said the current space acting as a teen center in the existing building amounted to only 200 square feet.

“We need shovels in the ground before winter,” she said then.

She said teens aren’t just older children, but members of the community who require a different approach regarding recruitment, retention, marketing, staff interaction, programming and utilization of space. The capital campaign is called “Stepping Up For Teens.” The club currently serves 3,000 young people in the community.


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