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Boys & Girls Club announces expansion plans

The Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Line will build a big addition to its building that will enable the club to expand services to its young people and the community at large.

Tentative plans were announced at Friday night's Festival of Trees.

The addition will be used for three main purposes:

  • It will include a full-sized kitchen that will enable the staff to provide students who need it with a light dinners. Until now, the club has offered snacks for members in the afternoon and lunches to students in the summer program but has been unable to offer dinners. That kitchen will be paid for with a $75,000 grant from the Maytag Corp.
  • The large room can be closed off into classrooms where club activities will be held. That will enable the club to serve about 300 students per day, up from the 200 who attend activities every day.
  • The big room will be rented out for a small fee to community groups. This will be especially helpful if the area in Holiday Village Mall that many people call the old Bi-Mart location is rented out for retail use, she said.

Somers said she hoped that one day the Festival of Trees will be held at the club.

The front of the building will be changed, and when people enter, they will be able to walk straight into the addition, she said.

Everyone involved with the club said they were excited about the opportunities that will come with the addition.

The dinner offerings meant the most to board member Doug Kaercher, Havre city clerk and finance director, and a supporter of the club since it was formed 10 years ago.

"Sadly, we have kids going hungry in this community, " he said.

Kaercher interrupted the jocularity of the evening, during which 12 trees were auctioned, and turned serious.

"We are kind of proud of our success, " he said.

"For this, I will give you a standing ovation, " he said to the sold-out crowd, "because it is because of you that this is possible. "

For every dollar raised by the club at Festival of Trees and other fundraising events, the club gets $5 more from various matching grants.

Somers praised HELP Committee Director Krista Solomon for her work in finding foundation grants and other sources of money to pay for the addition.

The timetable for construction has not been set, she said.

"I'd like to start construction today, " she said, laughing.


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