Boys & Girls Clubs in Carson City start ‘teen center’ capital campaign to raise $400,000 and trigger generous match

A teen center addition to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Nevada in Carson City is going to be built if a $400,000 capital campaign is successful, club officials said Friday.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Laurie Gorris, the organization’s chief professional officer, as she and Jonathan Olivas, club board president, announced the fund raising campaign. The opportunity involves a 75/25 percentage match in which $400,000 raised by July 31 would trigger $1.2 million for the center to build it for $1.6 million. The match is contingent upon raising the $400,000 by the deadline.

The commitment is from The William N. Pennington Foundation, which was formed by the late gaming industry pioneer and philanthropist for which it’s named, according to Gorris and Olivas. The foundation provides grants to Northern Nevada-based organizations in education, community services, health care and medical research.

The planned 6,000 square foot teen center would be an addition on the club facility’s east side. The existing club is a 12,000 square foot building with just a small part of it dedicated to teenagers at this juncture.

“Our current ‘teen center’ consists of one room less than 200 square feet, and there is a great need in our community to expand and support teens in Carson City,” said Gorris.

“This is a vital campaign and opportunity for the teens of Carson City,” Olivas added. “We can do this, but we need immediate commitments from the community. We are optimistic and we have moved into action to take advantage of this opportunity. We need shovels in the ground before winter.”

Gorris, meanwhile, said there will be four to six naming opportunities for substantial donations exceeding $25,000, but the club will be looking for contributions of any amount to reach the necessary $400,000 triggering the three-for-one match available.

“Teens are not simply ‘older children,’” said Gorris. “These are members of our community who require a different strategic approach to recruitment, retention, marketing, staff interaction, use of space and programming.”

The capital campaign, dubbed “Stepping Up For Teens,” is for expansion of a club that currently serves about 3,000 young people in a facility located at 1870 Russell Way on land where the city currently also is constructing an $8.5 million, multi-purpose athletic center just to the south. Inquiries about the teen center campaign or other matters may go to Gorris in the club or by calling her at 775-882-8820.


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