The children at Lacombe’s BGC (Boys and Girls Club) were cheering after seeing a massive cheque walk through their door yesterday afternoon (December 7). The ECHO Lacombe Association is giving the after-school club $10,000 in support of BGC programming.
“We applied to the ECHO Board of Directors for funding to start the Boys and Girls Club in Lacombe. We've already got two locations started—one at Terrace Ridge School and another at Upper Elementary,” said Executive Director of BGC, Beth Reitz.
The ECHO Lacombe Association believes BGC Lacombe will be a valuable addition to the community.
“Our Board is always on the Lookout for projects and programs that provide a unique benefit to our community,” said ECHO Lacombe Association President, Jared Reich. “BGC Lacombe is filling a great need in our community by offering valuable programs and services for children, youth, and families who reside in Lacombe.”
The money will be used to help cover the cost of starting up the program.
“The money is just helping us with those expenses of getting started up and the cost incurred with wages and all that until we start generating enough through the program to cover our costs,” said Reitz.
“Numbers are increasing and we're hopeful we'll be self-sustaining pretty quick,” she added.
The program only recently expanded to Terrace Ridge School in late October. Whereas the program at the Ècole Lacombe Upper Elementary School kicked off with the start of the school year. Reitz is expecting the program at Terrace Ridge School to pick up in the New Year. Overall, the feedback from the kids taking up the program is pretty positive.
“They have so much fun. They’re constantly telling their friends their parents have to sign them up. I know they have a lot of fun here,” said Reitz.
Additionally, the BGC is looking forward to hosting some summer camps.
“We do know that we're running a summer camp that will be coming that will be out in the community somewhere. It will be a large camp. It’ll be everyday so we’re planning for that too,” said Reitz.
The Echo Lacombe Association has supported a variety of community initiatives including the Echo Food Rescue Program, the Lacombe and District Historical Society’s Learning Garden, the World’s Largest Fishing Lure, EcoVision’s Roofs 4 Kids, and the Echo Stage.
“We're really thankful to the community for how they've welcomed us and the money that's coming from ECHO. To get this off, the ground has been really great. We're just really looking forward to what we can bring to Lacombe,” added Reitz.