By Howard Packowitz
BLOOMINGTON – A Bloomington teenager says the local Boys and Girls Club is like a second home to her.
Desy Adams, 17, addressed the Bloomington City Council Monday night, helping persuade aldermen to lease land to the organization for a new clubhouse at Sunnyside Park, on the city’s west side.
Adams said she’s been a Boys and Girls Club member for about 10 years. She says kids are given educational opportunities and the chance to develop their personalities.
“They helped us as teens get jobs. They helped the kids with homework and succeed in school,” said Adams.
“With the new building, we can definitely open up doors to a lot more people and be able to provide that opportunity,” Adams also said.
Boys and Girls Club leaders say 94 percent of their members live below the poverty line, and many need adult mentoring because their parents work two or three jobs to make ends meet.
The council Monday night directed staff to draft a 99 year lease agreement in which the Boys and Girls Club would pay the city a dollar a year.
The agency wants to build a 50,000 square foot clubhouse at Sunnyside. It will need to raise up to $12 million from grants and private donations.
Howard Packowitz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org