Organizer and emcee, Lynn Horn, planned the event around the kids who attend the club. The youth were genuinely friendly and polite as they served dinner to 126 people. After serving the food, each boy and girl told the audience why they frequent the Cool Club.
The highlight of the evening was Ed Hernandez, the 2010 Youth of the Year for the Rogue Valley Boys & Girls Club. Hernandez spoke of growing up in a non-English speaking household with a mother who raised her children alone because of domestic violence. He credited the White City Boys & Girls Club for giving him a sense of belonging and a place to go. Through club staff, Hernandez gained confidence and ran for Student Body President of Eagle Point High School— an election he won. At the end of his recitation, Hernandez garnered some indulgent laughter when the receptive audience learned of his desire to be a politician.
Although the event was a huge success thanks to the hard work of Horn and her “cooking angels”, Kathryn Hardy, Sharon Littlefield and Allen Blakemore, the Cool Club is still in need of more pledges. An additional $13,400 is needed to officially become a Boys & Girls Club. The fundraising is at 93 percent with a March 31 deadline for the remainder.
“We need a teen center,” said Tiffany O’Donnell who has seen the need since she began as principal at Shady Cove and Elk Trail Schools several years ago. She said the club offers programs to kids giving them a “laser light focus.” The club is open to all youth in the Upper Rogue including Butte Falls and Prospect.
As well as needing pledges, a recyclable can and bottle drive to benefit the club is ongoing. Residents are encouraged to drop off the recyclables on Fridays from 4 to 8:00 p.m., said Horn. At the same time, they have the opportunity to tour the club to see for themselves what there is to offer.
Pledge forms are available at Shady Cove School and Shy’s Café. Donors are reminded that when pledging, no money is required at this time. For more information call Tiffany O’Donnell at 541-878-1400 or Lynn Horn at 541-878-3145.
By Margaret Bradburn
Of the Independent