The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Rogue Valley announced on Wednesday, Nov. 30 that its board of directors has made the very difficult decision to close the Shady Cove Branch. The last day for Club operations is December 16, 2011. The Club will continue to operate on its normal schedule on Mondays and Wednesdays after school until 6:30 p.m; and from 3-9 p.m for Friday Teen Nights until its last day. The Shady Cove Club began serving teens 1 ½ years ago.
There were two major factors that led to this decision. They include the small number of youth who regularly attend the Club and lack of financial support from the community. Rachelle Schaaf, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Rogue Valley, said “When the Club came into service we estimated we would have an average daily attendance of 45 youth three days a week. We see between 10-18 teens each day we are open after school, but Friday Teen Nights are very popular, which brings our average daily attendance up to about 22.”
The Shady Cove Club was organized just for teens because there was no organized activity for them whereas elementary age children did have a program through the Upper Rogue Community Center, said Carrie Beebe, director of operations for the Rogue Valley Clubs.
The original agreement with the community was that the Club would receive $60,000 annually in pledged support for three years. Unfortunately second year pledges for the Shady Cove Club have fallen off in 2011 – to date the Club has received under 1/3 of what had been pledged. “This leaves us very short for the year, so we’ve had to use reserves and resources from other communities to operate the Shady Cove Club. Continuing to run at a loss is simply not sustainable,” said Schaaf.
“We are saddened to close the doors of the Shady Cove Club,” said Schaaf.
The Boys & Girls Clubs will continue to provide service for the 6000+ youth served through its other programs in the remaining four facilities in Talent, White City, Grants Pass and Cave Junction areas. The teens who have been served in Shady Cove are welcome at any of the other Clubs as members through the end of the school year of 2012; however, they will have to provide their own transportation.
Beebe said they are seeking ways to transport the Shady Cove members to White City and welcome ideas. Of course, parents can always transport to the White City Club located on Ave. G. For transportation ideas, call Carrie at 541-479-5258, ext. 110.
Boys & Girls Club did not own the Shady Cove facility. Some of the equipment will probably go to White City and can still be enjoyed by the Shady Cove youth. Clothes will go to another non-profit in Shady Cove, said Beebe.
“The staff and volunteers who have worked with the youth have been wonderful, and the kids who participate have gotten a lot out of Club activities. It’s a shame that we cannot continue as there are few other after school activities for teens in Shady Cove.” The Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Rogue Valley wishes to thank the volunteers and generous donors who established the Club, and especially those who have supported the Shady Cove Club through its second year of operation,” said Schaaf.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent