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  • The ARCH screening team after a screening at the Berea Convention Center in Bennettsville, SC.
  • The Education Foundation Building is where the FMU Foundation is located at 121 S. Evander Street, Florence, SC.

Officials Hope to Make Boys & Girls Club a Reality in Lee County

Wednesday, 07 August 2013

Officials Hope to Make Boys & Girls Club a Reality in Lee County

Article originally published in the Lee County Observer on July 24, 2013.

There are many reasons a Boys & Girls Club is needed in Lee County.

Alexis Pipkins, Lee County First Steps executive director and chairman of the Lee County Rural Leadership Institute (RLI), said a Boys & Girls Club provides young people with something they can't get at school, home, or church.

"The Boys & Girls Club provides life skills activities for our children after school, on the weekends and during the summer," he said. It has an open-door policy, full-time professional leadership and a varied and diversified program."

At the kickoff of the Lee County 2013 Boys & Girls Club Capital Campaign Kickoff held at the Bishopville High School gym July 15, Pipkins said $60,000 has been raised locally to bring a Boys & Girls Club here.

"We want to bring the Boys & Girls Club to Lee County but we need the community's help to make it happen," Pipkins said.

Decar Brown is the Director of Operations for the Boys & GIrls Club of the Pee Dee Area. He said the capital campaign will generate the funds needed to operate a club in Lee County.

"Every boy and girl needs a positive place to go and a positive adult influence," Brown said. "Lee County can make it happen, but it takes dollars."

Jennifer Byrd, office coordinator at South Atlantic Canners and vice-chairman of the Lee County RLI, said South Atlantic Canners is donating $1,000 to the capital campaign.

"The purpose of this kickoff event is to raise awareness and obtain the support of local government, business and individuals for a Boys & Girls Club," she said. "We need this organization here."

Camden's Fred Sheheen attended the event representing Francis Marion University and the Rural Leadership Institute.

He said the Rural Leadership Institute goal is to develop leaders in nine counties in the the Pee Dee that will establish projects in their communities to improve the quality of life.

Sheheen also announced he is pledging $1,000 as an individual donation for the Lee County Capital Campaign.

Travis Windham, Lee County Council chairman was also in attendance pledging the council's support for a Boys & Girls Club.

"Young boys and girls want structure and they want positive influences," Windham said. "Lee County needs a Boys & Girls Club."

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