‘Seeding Success’: Cross-generational learning and bridging of cultures

(Provided image/Oscar Romero)

(Provided image/Oscar Romero)

 

This is the second of a series of seven stories featured ahead of the seventh annual NCW Community Success Summit, which IRIS (Initiative for Rural Innovation & Stewardship) is convening in Quincy on Nov. 15. This year’s event, “Seeding Success, Growing ONE Community,” will celebrate stories about our environment, community, and economy that are helping to connect and strengthen our region. Each story will focus on one of seven different themes IRIS is using to highlight successes. For more information about the summit, to register, sample more stories and submit a story, visit www.irisncw.org.

 

The Brewster Boys & Girls Club. (Provided photo)

The Brewster Boys & Girls Club. (Provided photo)

 

Brewster Boys & Girls Club

Contact: Brian Paine

 

What is the situation?

The loss of a major funding source for the Boys & Girls Club planned for East Wenatchee in 2009 forced local and statewide backers to put the project on hold. But by 2013, a number of factors needed to launch a club in Brewster emerged. The Brewster Community Center, owned by the city, was constructed in 2000 at a strategic location near the school, park and pool. It had stood mostly empty for years except for its use by the Head Start Program in half of the building and as an evacuation center during the Carlton Complex Fire in 2014. The Snohomish Boys & Girls Club wanted to use the center as a proof of concept for developing a regional network of Boys & Girls Clubs. Former Bridgeport teacher and coach Brian Paine, who also served as a chaplain helping those affected by the 2014 fire, was asked to become the director in May 2015.

What is the challenge?

The community’s perception of the Brewster Community Center was negative due to the center being closed for long periods of time. There were also trust issues among some community members about creating a center that would be self-supporting in a rural area. Although some financial support was provided by the Snohomish Boys & Girls Club, it needed to be matched with local contributors. This was tough given the impact of two consecutive state record-setting forest fires and the competition for funds. Lack of transportation for kids coming to the center from Pateros and Bridgeport continues to be a challenge for the start-up club, but Brewster kids have had good access.

What are key activities?

* The club started through the success of a series of “Badges for Baseball” clinics

* Bringing the community into the new club through a combination of affordable after-school and summer camp programming

* Secured funding to provide breakfast and lunch as part of the summer camp program, a particularly valuable component for children whose parents are engaged in the local fruit industry by 5 a.m.

* Building collaborative partnerships with caring and generous individuals, businesses and other nonprofits who can provide funding and programming opportunities at the club, including the Colville Confederated Tribes

What is the successful outcome?

Increasing awareness of the club and its value has helped the Brewster Boys & Girls Club recruit members from all three communities it serves and beyond, including Brewster, Bridgeport and Pateros. Besides working to secure transportation, the club developed an advisory committee that planned its first major fundraising event at Gamble Sands Sept. 19. For more information, visit bgcsc.org/snohomish-clubs/brewster-club/.

 

Brian Paine may be reached at bpaine@bgcsc.org.