Getting official status took some time because the Boys & Girls Club organization requires three years of funding up front and a slowed economy impacted fundraising. The original goal of five days a week at the cost of $80,000 yearly was taking more time than expected so the fundraising committee settled on three days a week at the yearly cost of $60,000. Although that goal has been met, the intent to operate five days a week is still in the works and fundraising is ongoing, said Ed Mayer, a member of the Cool Club fundraising committee.
The need for a local youth center was immediately seen by Tiffany O’Donnell, Shady Cove and Elk Trail Schools Principal, when she began working in the Upper Rogue. Now that the club is official, O’Donnell said, “I feel gratitude to the community. I am overwhelmed by the response in the last few days when people sent checks to get the club open. It is a weight off my shoulders to be secure in the knowledge that it is going to happen. I am thrilled.”
Still working hard, O’Donnell and the fundraising committee are now organizing an outdoor equipment sale on May 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Shady Cove Middle School gym. Donations are needed of gently used fishing and rafting gear, boats, sporting goods, camping equipment and anything else used outdoors.
Another fundraiser is the recyclable can and bottle drive. Residents are asked to bring anything with deposits to the Cool Club during open hours. The money collected from the deposits is donated to the Shady Cove club.
As supporters of the Cool Club will tell you—it has been a long haul. And now the time has come to celebrate. The community is invited to a grand opening on April 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. It is the chance for Upper Rogue residents to see for themselves the club they sponsored for Upper Rogue youth.
For more information or to make sporting goods donations call 541-878-3000. Hours at the club as of March 29 will be Mondays from 3:25 to 6:30 p.m.; Wednesdays from 2:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Fridays from 3:25 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The Cool Club is at 22225 Highway 62.
By Margaret Bradburn
Of the Independent