Boys & Girls Club of Craig may open branch for Routt County

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To volunteer or donate to the Boys & Girls Club of Craig to help bring a branch of the club to Steamboat Springs, call Dana Duran at 826-0411.

The Boys & Girls Club of Craig is mustering volunteers and funds in preparation for a possible eastward expansion to Steamboat Springs.

Dana Duran, the executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Craig, said the group has been in discussion with Steamboat residents for some time in hopes of opening a Steamboat facility.

"It's always been something Steamboat's been interested in, especially because Craig has had one," she said. "It's going to take a whole lot. It's not just as easy as opening the door."

At an April 14 Steamboat Springs School Board meeting, Steamboat resident Heather Martyn told the board to expect a club to open in the near future, but Duran said there are no firm commitments or decisions in the process.

"There are a lot of things behind the scenes that need to get taken care of," she said. "We're in discussions, and that's as far as we are right now."

Mike Coffman, a Boys & Girls Clubs of America regional service director based in Richardson, Texas, said the group will bypass a number of obstacles by expanding the existing operation instead of starting a new club in Steamboat.

A standalone club would need a board of directors and an executive director, 501(C)(3) status, 100 documented interested children and other requirements set by the national Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

"It saves a lot of work because all of our clubs are stand-alone organizations," Coffman said.

The one remaining requirement would be a place for the club to meet.

"I think the bottom line is they have to have a facility big enough," he said.

Each student pays an annual fee to become a member of the club. The number can range from $5 to $10 per year, but can be more based on community needs. Coffman said he does not know what the cost will be to Steamboat children.

"It's a rate where every boy and girl in the community who wants to come, can come," he said. "What a lot of people don't understand is Boys & Girls Club of America doesn't run these organizations."

The organizations are run locally. The club also would offer an alternative to the after-school and days-off programs run by the city of Steamboat Springs. That program, based in new offices at Soda Creek Elementary School this year, often serves more than 50 students, Steamboat Springs Youth Services Coordinator Jennifer Travis said.

The city-run program costs $10 per day for after-school activities and $30 per day for all-day programs on days when there is no school. That cost will increase to $32 per day in the summer, Travis said.

Students can choose between bicycle trips, science lessons, bowling, karate, tennis, enrichment clubs and other activities.

Travis said that the wait lists for the program are much shorter than when the program was housed in the Igloo at Howelsen Hill, and on most days, the program can accommodate all interested students.

The Boys & Girls Club offers some of the same options in Craig, including homework help, computer labs, arts and sports. The activities that will be offered in Steamboat still are under discussion.

Duran said the Boys & Girls Club is looking for volunteers and donations to help propel the Steamboat initiative.

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