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Connecting the dots

Four times a year, a collection of county agencies and community groups meet at the Oakhurst library, working somewhat behind the scenes to create a better life for Mountain Area youth.

Created by Supervisor Tom Wheeler last year, the Inter-Agency Community Collaborative (IACC) meets each season to bring together everyone from the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst to the California Highway Patrol.

At its latest meeting May 4, attendees said the IACC has already created beneficial relationships and numerous opportunities for growth.

“This is all about connecting dots,” said Bob Macaulay, Oakhurst’s Honorary Mayor and president of the board for the Boys & Girls Club. “Nonprofits and business organizations can come here, and be a contact point for us to get together on programs or events.”

As an example, Macaulay said during the IACC’s February meeting, he met a county staffer who told him about a work program for senior citizens. Thanks to that, he said interviews are underway to bring seniors in and help run the Boys & Girls Club near Oakhurst Elementary School, which is attended by some 90 to 100 kids every day.

“We’re going to start bringing in seniors to help work at the club, with their salaries paid by the county,” Macaulay said. “Labor is our biggest expenditure, with all our funding coming directly from the community. So to be able to find out about that program, which is funded through the county, is an awesome opportunity for us and I wouldn’t have known without the IACC.”

“Tom wanted to set this group up to give an opportunity for local community groups to reach out and have first-hand access to all county agencies,” said Brittany Dyer, Wheeler’s district chief of staff. “The common theme here is youth, and what we can do for our students of all ages.”

Dyer said the IACC also works to help parents, welcomes guest speakers to each meeting, and could bring in private businesses as long as the focus is on youth development.

The IACC’s next meeting is Aug. 3 at the Oakhurst Library Community Room.

Details: (559) 662-6050, brittany.dyer@co.madera.ca.gov.

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