An NFL star and local football legend is the honorary fundraising chairman.
Governments at two levels, private companies and individuals got the ball rolling with grants and donations.
Now, the Boys & Girls Club of Bartow County needs a few more folks willing to kick in enough money to finish the job and allow its Adairsville location to serve more young people and, ultimately, expand its offerings.
The club began an effort to raise $350,000 in March to complete the funding needed for a $1.3 million project to give the Adairsville club its own home after 12 years in a “temporary” location.
Atlanta Falcons All-Pro defensive end Vic Beasley Jr., a former three-sport star at Adairsville High School, is the honorary chairman and Gary Floyd is the chairman for the capital campaign, titled “Raising the Roof for Adairsville’s Youth,” which began March 1.
Gordon Gilley, chief professional officer for Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow County Inc., said the effort already includes a social media campaign and appeals to area residents and organizations.
“We’re going to try not to leave any stone unturned,” Gilley said.
The ceremonial groundbreaking on the 5,000-square-foot building on a 2.4-acre site on 104 N. Main St. in downtown Adairsville was March 12.
Construction is ongoing and officials are hoping for a late September completion, Gilley said.
The new building will double the size of its current location on King Street and allow it to accommodate 50% more members — from 80 now to 120 after completion, he said.
The 29-year-old Bartow club provides a variety of after-school and educational programming. It serves a total of 180 to 250 members ages 6 to 18 during the school year five days a week at its Cartersville and Adairsville locations. The numbers increase during the summer, he said.
Club members are allowed to participate regardless of ability to pay dues, Gilley said.
He said the large percentage who end up graduating from high school if they remain active with the club is evidence of its success as a youth development program.
“Most of our kids thrive here,” Gilley said.
The Adairsville club has occupied its current building at 127 King St. for 12 years. It is owned by Georgia Power and is adequate for its programming but its size requires the club to limit participation to about 80 members. It also has no outdoor space, Gilley said.
Adairsville city officials approached the club in 2016 about the possibility of construction of a new building on Main Street as part of a larger revitalization program for the area, Gilley said.
The city applied for a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant from the state Department of Community Affairs specifically for the project, he said.
District 15 State Rep. Matthew Gambill, R-Cartersville, chairs the club’s volunteer board.
“(The grant) was applied for and received by the city based on the existing services in place the Boys & Girls clubs have provided and the potential to serve more deserving children in Adairsville with enhanced services,” Gambill said.
The city donated the land and additional funding, while Bartow County government donated the labor and equipment to prepare the site, Gilley said.
United Way of Bartow County also donated $55,000 as a “lead capital gift” and for operational funding, he said.
A second phase of the fund-raising project is planned to provide additional money for construction of a gymnasium, fenced athletic fields and more programming space, Gilley said.
Facebook is among the ways the club is appealing for funding, he said.
The organization’s Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Boys-Girls-Clubs-of-Bartow-County/129920440353026, while the fund-raising campaign’s page is at https://www.facebook.com/RTR4AdairsvilleYouth/?modal=admin_todo_tour.
Donations also can be mailed to the Boys & Girls Club of Bartow County, P.O. Box 455, Cartersville, GA 30120.
For more information, visit http://bgcofbc.org/.