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Boys and Girls Club van continues operation

The Culver Boys and Girls Club extension was closed this fall because of budget woes but van remains available
General Editor
   Feb. 6, 2002 -- Due to funding, the Culver Boys and Girls Club extension had to be closed this fall, but a van is still available to bring Culver kids to the Madras club.
   Club Director Grant Faulconer said the Culver club extension was opened with grant funds, which paid for some costs, but a fee of $5 had to be charged to cover the rest. For two years the club served 87 Culver kids, Monday through Friday, from 3 to 6:30 p.m.
   But a number of funding problems led to the club's closure. Only half of the Culver club members were paying the $5 weekly fee, a Campaign For Kids fund-raiser only produced one sponsorship for a Culver child, and there didn't seem to be any buy-in from the Culver community to support the club.
   The two-year Culver extension club grant ran out and was not renewable. Meanwhile all Central Oregon Boys and Girls Clubs were experiencing cuts.
   The Jefferson County club had its grant from the Commission on Children and Families cut from $60,000 a year to $7,000, and a grant from the Oregon Community Foundation was not renewed. Subsequently, the club's Teen Director position had to be cut in May.
   In an effort to continue serving Culver kids, Faulconer (who lives in Culver) noticed that 53 of those children had a parent who commuted to work in Madras. Thinking those parents could pick their children up after work, he began running daily van shuttles to pick up Culver students and bring them to the Madras Boys and Girls Club for activities.
   The van has been running since October, but averages only one student a day. Faulconer would like to get the word out about the van service and the possibility of restarting a Culver club extension if the community shows enough interest.
   "We would welcome a group of people from Culver who would like to discuss this. The organization would love to again have a presence in Culver, but the community buy-in is essential for the success of a sustained program," Faulconer said.
   People interested in forming a Culver committee or those wanting more information about the van service may contact Faulconer at 475-7028.