ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – A new Boys & Girls Club will soon open on Rockford’s West Side.
“The Boys & Girls Club saved me,” said Carnell Brown, Boys & Girls Club
Brown works at the Boys & Girls Club’s Fairgrounds Unit and he credits the organization with keeping him out of trouble as a kid, now he helps other kids do the same.
“I know what most of them are going through or what they’re going through and most of them want to learn about a lot of things and you can’t grab all of them but the more you grab the more the other kids see,” Brown said.
Brown says the current Fairgrounds Facility can only hold 50 kids but he knows many more wanted to participate.
“All we’ve been talking about is more space and we have a lot of kids out there and a lot of kids have seen that there wasn’t a lot of room in the space we were in. But now, we are ready to go,” Brown said.
So the Boys & Girls Club of Rockford purchased St. Paul Lutheran School, right across the street from the current fairgrounds unit.
“It’s a great day for this neighborhood, this building, the school, the church and most importantly a great day for the kids we serve,” said Clifford Stoner, Boys & Girls Club.
St. Paul has a large gym, classrooms and outdoor play areas.
“We expect to serve between 75 and 100 kids each night and we will probably have a membership of over 400 kids,” Stoner said.
“We are looking forward to doing more educational stuff. We can do that now, and not be crowded up in one room,” Brown said.
The Boys & Girls Club plans to open this location in September.