Boys & Girls Club to be housed in UltraLife Battery Building

Staff Writer

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Golden Triangle Inc., will met Tuesday at West Point City Hall to discuss preparations to open a Boys & Girls Club in West Point.

"We want to invite everyone who is interested in seeing a Boys & Girls Club in West Point to come and we'll discuss what needs to be done," said Nadia Colom, chief executive officer of the Golden Triangle Clubs . "Yes, we have support from the Mullen Foundation, but we also need the support of West Point."

Colom said she will explain where they are in process of bringing a club to West Point. Boys & Girls Clubs are an organized, safe, structured after school program. Staff will have to receive training to have a successful club. There are more than 5000 Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide and 19 of the organizations in Mississippi, according to Colom.

"We want to get the program up and running as soon as possible," Colom said. "We would like to shoot for opening in the summer of 2018. The board of selectman have approved our use of the former UltraLife Battery facility and the renovation of that building will take time and money. We are very fortunate to be able to begin with a good building, thanks to the Board of Selectmen."

She said she hopes the community will embrace the opening of a club. West Point has not had a Boys & Girls Club in 15 years. Colom wants to change that.

"I'm from West Point and I hate to think of all the kids who never got to enjoy what the club is all about." Colom said. "I want my hometown to be served as well as Columbus and Starkville already are. I couldn't let the lack of representation continue. I want to work with the community to make the club a reality."
Colom said they will need volunteers and donations. It is an investment in the young people of West Point and Clay County.

"This is not going to happen by volunteerism alone," Colom said. "There will have to be dollars to back it up. It could be a fundraising project for area service clubs. We will all have to work together to make this happen."

Colom said there are many misconceptions about what Boys & Girls Clubs are. They are not a day-care. Staff receives training for corporate offices and state offices. They provide after-school tutoring and activities to keep kids engaged. It is a great place for latchkey kids who don't have adult supervision. Boys & Girls Clubs provides that supervision. There is no downside to opening a Boys & Girls Club.
For more information come to City Hall tonight at 6 p.m. to find out what can be done to support the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Golden Triangle, Inc.