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Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties awarded a $50,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County to Support Post-Hurricane Ian Reconstruction Efforts at the North Port Club

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Community Foundation of Sarasota County recently granted $50,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties in support of long-term reconstruction efforts at the North Port Club, Steven and Marjolaine Townsend Campus, home of the Gene Matthews Boys & Girls Club.

Due to the urgent need to serve the rapidly expanding community of North Port, a renovation of the Club was already on the horizon. However, in 2022, Hurricane Ian caused irreparable damage to two of the three main buildings and accelerated that timeline. To ensure today’s youth have the skills, resources, and opportunities to be the leaders of tomorrow, a new 23,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility will be built in the same location that has served local families for over 25 years.

Upon completion, the interior will feature 21st-century academic classrooms, a commercial teaching kitchen, a food pantry for local families, a technology lab, a dedicated teen center, a college and career center, and much more. Club members will also be able to enjoy the outdoors with a newly renovated sun-shaded playground, recreation pavilion, and health and fitness center.

The grant provided by the Community Foundation through the Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund will help sustain operations throughout the construction of the new facility and ensure continuity in programs and services. These funds will be used to defray ongoing costs for the addition of two classroom portables that will serve as temporary educational and enrichment space, as well as additional improvements including the installation of an ADA-compliant concrete sidewalk for universal access, and internet connectivity upgrades for the gymnasium which currently serves as the primary learning space.

“As we embark on this transformative journey to rebuild the Steve and Marjolaine Townsend Campus, home of the Gene Matthews Boys & Girls Club, we are sincerely grateful for the generous support from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County,” said Bill Sadlo, President/CEO. “This funding represents a significant step forward in our mission to ensure youth in the North Port community continue to have access to award-winning and nationally recognized programs designed to help them reach their full potential.”

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