(WBIR - Knoxville) Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero is building her budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Within her proposed budget is $250,000 for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley.
Terry Campbell has been volunteering with the non-profit for three years, trying to have a positive impact on the young lives.
He said, "For me, I think the most important thing is character. I teach character. I preach character."
When Campbell was a child he was a member of the Boys and Girls Clubs.
"The club was probably at that time one of the only facilities around that gave us a place to get off the street and play basketball, swim in the pool, and meet friends," Campbell said.
When the young children walk into the Caswell Avenue club, they're most likely greeted by Shantary Matthews. She's also a product of the organization.
Matthews said, "It was the only place I could go besides my front porch because I was the only girl."
It's those types of success stories the organization continues striving to provide. If Mayor Rogero's budget is approved as is, the Caswell Avenue club will get $250,000 to go towards its capital campaign to expand its recreational facilities.
Board member Dugan McLaughlin said, "I think she looks at it like we look at it. This is not just about helping some kids. This is about investing in our community.
McLaughlin said there are about 43,000 children in Knoxville who are economically disadvantage and the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tennssee Valley helps build them up.
"These are our kids. Knoxville is our town. Knoxville is our town. These are our kids and we are investing in them a chance to come back and make this a better town for all of us," McLaughlin said.
McLaughin said some of the improvements needed around the club include updating the 50 year old pool, which serves as a centerpiece for the kids, as well as improving the gymnasium. But the club also wants to provide more scholarships so they can help more children.
"It's not even the club that really needs the money. It's the children in our community who can't afford to do other things," Matthews said.
To see Mayor Rogero's entire 2014 - 2015 budget proposal visit http://www.cityofknoxville.org/Press_Releases/Content/2014/0424.asp. The city council has until June 30th to approve a budget.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley is currently accepting application for the summer. For more information visit http://www.bgctnv.org/site/PageServer.