A renewed interest in the success of the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst was apparent at a meeting held last week at the Ol' Kettle Restaurant in Oakhurst. A group of community citizens were invited to meet and share ideas on increasing resources available for the ongoing operations of the club.
The hope is that this information-sharing and gathering meeting will lead to long-term planning for the health of the club. Community members were invited to help the club move forward in engaging with the community and raising support so that the club's mission of helping young people make positive choices can move forward.
Attending the meeting were members of the current board of directors, club staff, community members -- some of whom have children enrolled in the club -- and community leaders including Madera County Sheriff John Anderson and District 5 Supervisor Tom Wheeler.
Rima Runtzel, president of the Oakhurst board, showed a video illustrating the quality programs that are currently being run for youth, ages 6-18, who attend the club every day after school. She also introduced the club's new director, Richard Pastoria.
One of the primary goals for the club is to increase the size of the current board from five members up to 12 active members.
"We are excited about the interest that the community showed in taking positive steps towards obtaining resources for the club," Runtzel said.
Runtzel stressed how important it is to create new community connections for resources, including donations of money, supplies and volunteer service at the club and for fundraising events.
Jim Holm, director of resource development with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fresno County, said he would work with Runtzel to meet with attendees to explore further their interest in serving on the board or possible subcommittees, such as a financial campaign or fundraiser committees.
"Overall, the meeting was very positive," Runtzel said. "I think that many people just are not aware of the needs we have in regards to board service or volunteers, but once they know, they want to help. We will continue to explore new ways to get that message out."
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