GARDINER — The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Kennebec Valley has launched a back-to-school donation drive to secure funds for their new clubhouse.

The club is operating at 40% of its capacity because of the pandemic and current CDC and local guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

At the same time, the club is making a push to raise the final $400,000 to open the new clubhouse as soon as possible. Staff and many supporters and volunteers from the community are working as hard as possible to raise the funds by Oct. 31.

The club is in the final stretch of its $10 million Great Futures”capital campaign for a new clubhouse, which will replace the 60-year-old building in Gardiner. Donors can contribute to the fundraising campaign online, by mail or in-person at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Kennebec Valley at 14 Pray St., Gardiner, ME 04345.

As part of the campaign, a focus of the club is to raise funds to fully furnish the new clubhouse with the furniture, play and learning equipment to outfit each classroom. The full list of needed items is available at bit.ly/donatetobgckv. Funds raised will outfit each classroom once it is built, which is currently planned for next August.

More information about the fundraising efforts is available at bgckv.org/donate.html.

‌“We are so glad to have the kiddos back in the building, but we know we could also be serving so many more. It breaks my heart when we have to tell parents we are at capacity and they need to find other childcare. We need the new building so badly for the kids, but also for the adults and families that are trying to go back to work. If they must be home during the day to be with their child, they can’t go to work. It has a huge ripple effect on our community,” club CEO Ingrid Stanchfield said in a news release from the organization.

As part of the new clubhouse, the club is planning for construction of a new athletic field. Once built, the new clubhouse will increase its current capacity to serve twice as many children, hire more staff and also increase enrollment for the sports programs.

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