|The first group of volunteers for the new Menifee Valley Boys & Girls Club gathered on Saturday. Many more volunteers are needed before the club in January.|
Volunteers were given a tour of the facilities at the former Menifee Elementary School, adjacent to Menifee Valley Middle School on Garbani Road. Through a lease agreement with the Menifee Union School District, the club will have use of nine classrooms and most of the outside grounds at the former school site.
Volunteers will have a "facility prep day" Dec. 7 to clean and set up the rooms that will be used. Then the following Saturday, Dec. 14, the club will host a Family Fun Day and Open House from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., giving residents the opportunity to tour the facility and fellowship together.
There will be a bounce house and other carnival type games for the kids in addition to the opportunity for parents to register their children for the before- and after-school programs, which will begin after Christmas break. Registration will also be taken for a basketball league, which will begin Jan. 18.
The opening of a Boys & Girls Club in Menifee has long been awaited by those who have either driven to other cities to take part of such programs or gone without.
"In 2002, I had nowhere like this to take my son," said board member Sue Kristjansson. "I had to build our own little world in my house. This has been needed for a long time."
Ryan Sharp, pastor of Generations Church and another board member, stressed the need for additional volunteers.
"A full functioning club like this usually has 200-300 volunteers," he said. "You who are here today are getting in on the groundwork. Thank you for your help."
The club will have a website up and running soon. Meanwhile, correspondence should be sent by email to MVBGCAT@gmail.com. In addition to volunteer help, the group is seeking financial donations, with a goal of $100,000. So far, it has about $8,000 in the bank and the promise of a $40,000 grant from the regional Boys & Girls Club.