Please Join Us in Supporting Menifee Valley Boys & Girls Club

If you remember the "mug shot" from my A Doug's Life columns, you will notice that ...

If you remember the "mug shot" from my A Doug's Life columns, you will notice that I got rid of the cowboy hat and donned a Menifee 24/7 shirt.

You might say that I finally stopped trying to be something I'm not.

Who am I kidding? I'm no cowboy. I will always have my dreams; no one can take that away from me. But at the same time, we must deal with the here and now -- and do what we can to make that a better place.

This I have tried to do since becoming editor of Menifee 24/7 in January. In my dreams, Menifee 24/7 is an award-winning news site and I'm a millionaire. In reality, we're working hard to make Menifee 24/7 better all the time, and I make enough to feed my family.

One might look at Menifee in a similar perspective. Some of us want rural bliss. Others want affordable housing, malls and movie theaters. Some say it's the perfect place to live. Others say we're screwing it up.

Somewhere between all this lies the truth. So while each of us retains our dreams, we are called upon to roll up our sleeves and work together to make this a better place for everyone.

Easier said than done, you might say. How do we stop this tug of war? Is there a project out there we can all agree upon and support together?

I firmly believe there is. Here at Menifee 24/7, we're getting behind a project we believe will have a positive impact for everyone in the community -- and we urge you to join us.

Menifee 24/7 is donating $1,000 toward the fundraising drive for the Boys & Girls Club that is coming to Menifee. This is something that is urgently needed in our city. No matter what dreams you have for Menifee, it's a fact that our youth are our future. Not only that, they play a big part in the present.

If the younger generation of Menifee residents is to effectively carry this city into the future, it must be nurtured now. It would be irresponsible of us not to do everything possible to provide our young people with every conceivable opportunity to develop leadership skills, learn effective social interaction, develop physical and intellectual skills, and have a safe environment before and after school and on weekends.

There is no need in this space to describe all the benefits of a Boys & Girls Club to Menifee or describe the challenges faced by those behind this project. If you haven't done so already, you can read about that here.

By giving our young people more healthy opportunities in our own town, the potential for unproductive and sometimes harmful activities is transformed into the potential for achievement and development. Will the presence of a Boys & Girls Club eliminate juvenile delinquency and idleness in Menifee? Probably not. Will it help? Tremendously. Will it help build a strong moral character in our young people? Absolutely.

This is a project we cannot afford not to support.

In the past few weeks, this community has been through a lot. The disappearance and murder of a young boy has emotions running the gamut. First, we came together in search of young Terry Smith Jr. Then, as anger and accusations mounted following his death, we began to polarize. Meanwhile, our youth look to us for guidance, not selfish examples of poor behavior.

It's time to stop fighting one another and fight together for a common cause. I can't think of a more worthy cause than a facility and group of caring volunteers who will help the Terry Smiths of the future be the best young people they can be.

A fundraiser held Friday night at the Lake Elsinore Casino raised about $1,500, with several local businesses contributing hundreds of dollars worth of items for auction. More fundraisers are planned. But you know what? You don't have to wait for a planned activity to donate to the cause.

I urge you, the residents of Menifee, to join Menifee 24/7 in supporting the Menifee Valley Boys & Girls Club. Let's make sure it is ready to open by year's end, as planned. This is an investment in our future that goes far beyond a movie theater or another place to shop.

To make a donation, mail your check to:

Menifee Valley Boys & Girls Club
29618 Lamprey Street
Sun City, CA 92586

The Menifee Valley Boys & Girls Club has been granted tax exempt status in California and is in the application process for federal tax exempt status.

In addition, the club's board of directors is forming a committee to coordinate volunteers and fundraising. To volunteer your services to this effort or as a volunteer once the club opens, call Sue Kristjansson at 951-282-4717.

Thank you for your support.

Doug Spoon
Menifee 24/7


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