History of Florence A. De George Club
Club To Open For Boys And Girls
September 23, 2001|By R.S. Pollack Special Correspondent
After years of planning and construction, a new Boys & Girls Club that will be available to thousands of youngsters in southwest Broward County is about to open its doors.
On Tuesday, officials and community leaders from throughout the county will be on hand for the dedication of the new 20,000-square-foot Florence A. De George Boys & Girls Club, a state-of-the-art facility for children between the ages of 7 and 17.
Planned to open for business Oct. 1, the Boys & Girls Club on Southwest 133rd Avenue in Davie, next to Flamingo Elementary School and Western High School, will offer a variety of programs and activities focused on providing youngsters with a positive environment.
"It's very exciting," said Debbie Quintana, the director of the new club, who has been busy putting the finishing touches on the facility. "We've had some kids come and peek through the windows and say, `Wow, this is great.' I can't wait to see the look on the kids' faces when they start coming through here."
The club, which takes up a third of a five-acre parcel near the schools, will offer students a supervised and active place to go from the time the final school bell rings to the time parents come home from work.
"There are about 6,000 young people who live within walking distance of the club who needed a place to go and something to do," said Kay Hughes, a spokeswoman for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County.
While the club will directly benefit many children and families in western Davie and Weston, Quintana said it will also have an indirect impact on the community.
"It benefits all of us if the kids of today are becoming better adults and learning skills that will help them contribute back to the community in the future," she said.
The new club will be open six days a week, from 2:30 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Among the club's facilities are a large gymnasium, junior and senior game rooms, a library, computer center and fine arts center, as well as a lounge and meeting rooms.
"There's a lot of different things to do in one building," Quintana said. "There's a wide diversity of activities."
The club will offer daily programs in key areas, including character and leadership; education and career development; health and life skills; the arts; and sports, fitness and recreation.
It will have a full-time staff of five and a large part-time staff that includes teachers and others who will be working with the youngsters. Quintana said the club is also looking for volunteers to work with the kids.
To ensure the newest of the county's 12 Boys & Girls Clubs is accessible to all, dues will be kept to just $15 a year.
A large chunk of the $2 million price tag for the new facility is coming from the Lawrence J. and Florence A. De George Charitable Trust, which is dedicated to supporting children and their right to a good, stable upbringing. The trust, which contributed $1.5 million, is also helping to build a Boys & Girls Club in Palm Beach County.
Additional funding for the club came from Davie, which contributed $400,000, and from the Broward County School Board, which donated the property the club sits on.