A rendering of the new Boys and Girls Club "Positive Place Club" in Gainesville.

Rendering of the new “Positive Place Club” in Gainesville

Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier is launching two major initiatives for 2023. The Clubs announced a capital campaign to support two projects in Hall County: replacing its flagship “Positive Place Club” in Gainesville and building a new gymnasium at the Joseph F. Walters Club on Memorial Park Drive.

The combined facilities will serve an additional 350 youth each day.

Additionally, the organization is opening a new club in Buford, designed to serve after-school and summer programs for 100 youth in grades K-5. The opening is planned for May 2023. It will be located to serve surrounding schools, including Buford Elementary, Buford Academy and Buford Senior Academy.

Great Futures Capital Campaign

“Built in 1972, our Positive Place Club has long served the community and grown – as best we can – to meet the changing needs of the young people we serve,” said Joyce Wilson, chief development officer. “While our current club has served us well, its age, layout and space limitations can’t provide our kids with what they need. Once completed, the new 25,000-square-foot club and wellness center will be able to serve an additional 250 kids and teens. The new facility will include new equipment and smart technology.”

The new two-story facility will support programming for kids in grades K-5 downstairs; older members in grades 9-12 will occupy the second floor. The adjacent Teen Center will provide dedicated space and facilities for youth in grades 6-8.

The Great Futures Campaign will also provide funding to build a new gymnasium/wellness center at the Joseph F. Walters Club, in partnership with Hall County through Community Development Block Grant Funding.

“The new gymnasium will increase the ages of youth served at the Walters Club, adding grades 6-8,” Wilson said. “Previously it was limited to kids K-5 with limited options for indoor recreation and physical activities. By constructing the gym and wellness center, we can expand programming to middle school teens, as well as offering even more variety in our programming.

The Great Futures Campaign’s goal is $12.5 million, with more than $8.5 already raised.

“These clubs … it’s phenomenal what they do – giving them mentoring services, the education services to these kids, as well as the love they provide for these kids on a daily basis,” said long-time supporter and founding member of the former Gainesville-Hall County Boys Club in 1954 Philip Wilheit. “It has become obvious that the needs of our children are much greater than when I was growing up. We didn’t have the temptations; we didn’t have the challenges they have today. It’s a whole different world out there.”

To donate or for more information about the Great Futures Capital Campaign, visit boysgirlsclub.com/great-futures-hall.

Signature events support Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier benefit from several signature annual events. Mark your calendars for these:

  • Meet N’ Eat Car Show, April 8, Auto Metal Direct, 3384 Gateway Centre Parkway, Gainesville. Music, food, vendors, live auction for a 1965 Ford F100.
  • 25th Annual Rubber Duck Derby, Saturday, May 6, Lake Lanier Olympic Park. $10,000 cash prize, plus other prizes. Fun and games plus food.
  • 25th Annual Holiday Golf Classic, October 13, Lanier Islands Legacy Golf Course. 4-man best-ball scramble, 32-team maximum. $150 per player; $600 per team includes food, beverage, cart, green fee fees, gate fee, range balls, drink tickets, gift package, door prize, awards banquet.

For more information on any of these events visit www.boysgirlsclubs.com.

Rendering: courtesy Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier