Keep Boys & Girls club open

Published 9:57 am Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Now more than ever, the Boys & Girls Club of Franklin needs this community’s support.

The loss of grant money that sustained the after-school organization through its first five years of existence means community donors must dig deep to keep the Boys & Girls Club operational.

Why is that important? Because the hundred-plus children — most of them underprivileged — who participate in the club, based at S.P. Morton Elementary School, would have nothing to do after school if the organization disbanded. Or at least nothing constructive to do. They could roam the streets, where the odds of involvement in crime or gangs rise exponentially.

Franklin Mayor Jim Councill, who serves on the Boys and Girls Club board of directors, said it succinctly: “If they’re not going to be at the Boys & Girls Club, then they’re going to get in trouble.”

Ellis Crum, president of the board, noted the “astronomical” return on investment in the program. “I believe for every $1 we spend on the front side of life, we save $1,000 on the back side of life by not paying for incarceration and rehabilitation,” he said.

Community donors have pledged $20,000 since word of the club’s demise began to circulate. Another $30,000 is needed in order to tap funds from the local club’s national parent organization.

Let’s all dig deep and keep the Boys and Girls Club going.