The Boys & Girls Club Services of Greater Victoria is celebrating the first six months of the Kaare Norgaard Central Saanich Club, following hefty fundraising efforts by the community to build the new facility.
In a letter to Black Press, the club highlighted its Jan. 24 opening, attributing the new location’s success to the $850,000 raised through its Open the Doors campaign, which included in-kind gifts from about 50 business and individuals totalling more than $150,000.
“We not only were able to build a new club facility that is bright, welcoming and safe for our kids, but we did it without incurring any debt as well as establishing three endowments,” wrote campaign chair Peter Baillie. “We simply could not have accomplished this without the strong support of so many people, organizations and businesses.”
Campaign manager Kate Mansell said raising funds was a team effort by everyone on the committee. She credited project managers and longtime Central Saanich residents Mark and Danielle Marley for their hard work in gathering donations.
“It was a substantial effort on behalf of Mark and Danielle,” she said. “Their work certainly made it easier to provide incentive to other donors to get on board.”
She also thanked the District of Central Saanich for providing the location at a cost of $1 per year for 25 years – ensuring that every dollar raised will go a bit further.
“They’ve been immensely supportive of us over the years. It was a testament to their past support and their belief in our work.”
The club – named after the late philanthropist Kaare Norgaard – provides a supportive place for children and youth to experience new opportunities, build positive relationships and develop confidence and skills.
“We care about kids – all of them,” wrote Baillie. “We provide an ear to hear and a heart that cares. We provide the praise they never got and the patience they never experienced.
“We let them know they’re not alone. And that opens doors to a world of opportunities for growth and self discovery.”