Over 80 attendees celebrated the completion of the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst's bathroom project Jan. 15. The project was funded by the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians Community Grant Program. The event was held as an Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce Business Open House. Tri Tip dinner was provided by Mountain Area Lions Club, salad by Produce Place, and cake by Ron & Sherry Colgate.
"The first set of plans for permanent restroom facilities were drawn up over ten years ago," said Rima Runtzel, club president. "We were beyond thrilled to receive funding for the project from the Chukchansi tribe's Community Grant Program last year. Architect Patrice Jensen, contractor Randy Papike and volunteer Jim Elliott have all been involved in this project for the entire ten years and helped to see it through to completion. Additionally, we could not have done it without the efforts of Supervisor Tom Wheeler, Superintendent Glenn Reid, and the entire staff and board of the club."
Runtzel said club members have suffered with using portable restrooms for many years.
"Portables may be bearable at occasional events or on a temporary basis, but nobody wants to use them every day," Runtzel said. "In the summer, it is hot and stinky. In the winter, it is freezing and dark early. There are many kids who would simply not do it."
Runtzel said the club continues to struggle to maintain a steady stream of donations that will cover the $6,000 average operating costs.
"We hope that this accomplishment will show the community that we are here for good and that it gives them confidence in contributing on a regular basis," Runtzel said. "Giving to the club is truly an investment in our future."