Kids’ club opens doors

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Firefighters, police, paramedics and soldiers responded to the Boys & Girls Club in Troy Wednesday afternoon, but they weren’t on an emergency call.

The groups were being honored for “Heroes Day” by the Boys & Girls Club of Pike and Surrounding Counties as part of National Boys & Girls Club Week.

“This week we’re opening the door to the community and hoping they come to visit us,” said Starla Preer who handles public relations for the local club.

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The national theme of “Open the door. Take the Tour.” is being utilized in creative ways locally, Preer said.

On Monday, the club honored youth for their achievements in academics and positive attitudes, Tuesday club volunteers were recognized, Wednesday was for local heroes, today the children will take part in flag football and freeze tag as part of learning about healthy lifestyles and Friday is Open House at the club beginning at 5:30 p.m.

“We are trying to get the community involved with us,” Preer said. “A lot of people drive past us, but they really don’t know what we do.”

Preer said the organization offers tutoring, mentoring programs and after school games and activities.

The club’s Youth of the Year Brittany Dubose said she owes a lot to the group.

“My people skills have gotten better, my homework and grades have improved,” Dubose said. “I never had patience before I got to help with the younger kids here.”

Wednesday’s event was two-fold, Preer said. Honoring local first-responders and soldiers was a way to get new people to visit the club, but it would also help instill a good relationship between law enforcement and the kids.

“It’s really important for the kids to understand that all our firefighters, police and soldiers are here to help. You don’t have to be afraid of them,” Preer said. “They are here for all of our safety and we can trust them.”

Anyone interested in touring the facility, volunteering or donating to the Boys & Girls Club should call 770-2582. The club is open from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.