BLOOMINGTON — Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal wants the community's support for the club's academic enrichment, character building and healthy lifestyle choices programs.
The occasion is the club's annual fundraising effort, the Great Futures Campaign, which has a goal this year of $175,000.
While annual club membership is $25, the vast majority of money for the club's $750,000 operating budget is from individual and corporate donations; federal, state and local grants; and United Way of McLean County, said club CEO Tony Morstatter.
The club annually serves more than 900 at-risk youths, ages 6 through 18, and nearly all of them come from low-income households. The after-school and summer programs are at the club, 1615 W. Illinois St., Bloomington; at the Teen Club at the Lawrence Irvin Neighborhood Center next door; and at Bloomington Junior High School, 901 Colton Ave.
The co-chairs of the Great Futures Campaign are Bill and Jan Lawrence of Normal. They are president and business development director of P/L/R Insurance in Bloomington and Tremont.
To help kick off the campaign, the Lawrences announced a $10,000 challenge gift to the club. If McLean County residents donate $10,000 to the campaign by June 30, the Lawrences will match that amount.
"Jan and I felt led to fund this (Boys & Girls Club) challenge because we recognize the importance of the Boys & Girls Club mission," Bill Lawrence said in a prepared statement.
"Our family has been incredibly blessed by our work in the Bloomington-Normal community," he continued. "There are many worthy organizations in our community, but Jan and I have a connection to the Boys and Girls Club and specifically to the kids they serve."
"Our own daughter, at a particularly difficult time in her life, found herself in need," Jan Lawrence said. "The Boys and Girls Club stepped in to provide a safe place for our grandson while our daughter worked to support her family. The kids (that) our club serves need us."