This rendering shows a view of the planned new facility of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley in Gardiner. Image courtesy of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley

RANDOLPH — Town residents provided financial support Wednesday night for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley, approving a $100,000 donation to the organization at the annual Town Meeting.

Matthew Drost, a member of the Randolph Board of Selectmen, said the donation, one of 50 warrant articles approved by residents at the meeting, was inspired by the city of Gardiner’s donation. He said the $100,000 was a suggestion to get the conversation going.

Drost said there was a short discussion about the positive impact the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley has on children and families. He said voters noted that while the club has struggled during the coronavirus pandemic, it remained open and offered many services.

Of the 27 residents participants in the Town Meeting, Drost said a majority voted in favor of the donation and there was no discussion of reducing the donation.

Drost said he did not know the vote totals related to the donation, and the town clerk’s office said there was no vote count. Officials said they only knew a majority at the meeting was in favor of the donation.

Funds for the donation will come from an unexpended fund balance, which Drost said was made clear to voters at the meeting.

The $100,000 will go to the Boys & Girls Club of Kennebec Valley’s capital campaign for the program’s new facility, expected to open in August 2022.

Ingrid Stanchfield, executive director of the Gardiner-based Boys & Girls Clubs, said a new building would not have been possible without help from Maine School Administrative District 11 communities, which include Gardiner, Pittston, Randolph and West Gardiner, and other communities in the Kennebec Valley.

Ingrid Stanchfield

“We are really grateful,” Stanchfield said. “It’s the power of people working together for everyone in each little community. We never would have been able to pull it off. It’s been a long time.”

The Boys & Girls Club of Kennebec Valley has a large impact on the community, Drost said.

Those at the Town Meeting also recognized Emma Roberts, a longtime member of the Boys & Girls Club of Kennebec Valley, with the Spirit of America Award.

Stanchfield said the club’s new facility at 14 Pray St. should be a boon to the community. It is expected to include a new athletic field, other amenities and space for community programs, such as Girl Scouts or rehabilitation programs.

It is also expected to offer child care for children as young as 6 weeks old, and to serve those up to 20 years old.

Stanchfield said the child care will be helpful to many families in the area. She added the club did not stop offering such services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m a firm believer in our mission: To serve the needs of our people at their most vulnerable times,” Stanchfield said. “Most are essential workers. We couldn’t close our doors. They had to work.

“In the first 38 weeks of COVID-19, we didn’t have a case at all. We hunkered in to what our mission is and who needs us, and opened the doors.”

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.