Fentress Boys and Girls Club scheduled to close

10:26 PM, Nov 1, 2012   |    comments
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The Boys and Girls Club of Fentress County will close December 18th unless they get support from other area clubs and their community.

Director Edana Koger says about 33 kids attend the program daily for help after school with homework.

They also do alcohol and tobacco prevention programs and sexual education.

Many of the children get snacks and even a meal from the Boys and Girls Club, all of which could soon disappear.

"This is a desperate, almost a desperate cry to community. We need you. We don't have anything else here in Fentress County, our bowling alley is closed.  The children, they don't have anywhere to go," said Koger.

For years the club has been part of the Boys and Girls Club of the Cumberland Plateau, which includes Scott County.

But the Scott County board voted to sever the affiliation with Fentress this week, according to Koger.

"Scott County has given us money in the past to keep us afloat, they could no longer keep us," said Koger, calling their program a "financial liability."

Without their 501C3 affiliation, they'll have to close. Koger says they're hoping another area club will pick them up, but it seems unlikely because they're running out of money.

Several years ago Scott County loaned their neighbors $27,000 to keep the program going, which Koger says they've yet to repay.

Their program costs about $75,000 a year to run, in addition to grant money.

Poor management led the club to close for nine weeks last summer, according to Koger.  That's when she started as the director and instituted a complete restructuring of the board, staff, and program.

Now she says they just need a chance.

"We need more time, that's what we're asking for- more time," said Koger.

She says she hopes to rally community support, and dollars, in hopes of enticing other area clubs to incorporate them.

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