Lakewood Boys & Girls Club awarded expansion funds

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) presented the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound (BGCPS) a $250,000 federal checkon Friday to help build or refurbish six Boys and Girls clubs in Pierce and Kitsap Counties for underserved communities. The money will be used to build a new Lakewood club, which is in need of expansion after years of increased demand. Blueprints for the new club were presented during a ceremony.

With 20,000 new residents moving to South Puget Sound region every year, demand for the services and facilities provided by Boys & Girls Clubs is growing. In some communities, though, there are no clubs available or the buildings are crowded, ill equipped and run down.

As such, the organization is expanding the reach of its clubs through a Building Futures Campaign, by bringing six new centers to the region over five years: Lakewood, Gig Harbor/ Peninsula, Tacoma, Puyallup, Kitsap, and Spanaway/Graham.

Each of the planned construction projects will serve as multi-purpose facilities, working with local school and park districts to provide a home to many programs and groups serving children, seniors, and low-income families. This is important for communities and groups cannot that afford to construct and operate separate facilities.

The funds Cantwell presented were included in the fiscal year 2005 Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill.

While the Boys & Girls Clubs are seeking county, state, federal funds to help pay for the $60 million Building Futures Campaign, more than half of the total capital construction budget will come from private funding.