Two Boys & Girls Clubs in Denison merge

By: Steven Powell Email
By: Steven Powell Email

DENISON, TX -- Last summer, the Grayson County Salvation Army closed its after-school program due to lack of funding.

But thanks to a merger between two Boys & Girls Club organizations, those kids will have an after-school program once again.

Officials announced Thursday that the Denison Boys & Girls Club of America will take over the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club - merging the programs into one.

Major Don Wildish, Grayson County Salvation Army, said they reached out to the Denison Boys & Girls Club of America after running into the red.

"One of the most expensive programs that we were running was the after-school program," he said.

Patrick Guarino, Denison Boys & Girls Club, said with the merger, they can pool their donor funding together to support a single club.

"Instead of having two different organizations coming and asking them for money, there will be a single point for contact with that," he said.

And they can offer the after-school program to kids who used to attend the Salvation Army club.

"It's really what's best, not just for the children, but for the donors," Wildish said.

The Denison club will cover operational costs. The Salvation Army will cover maintenance costs for their building and sports facilities.

Guarino said they've taken in 40 kids from the Salvation Army, bringing the total to around 130.

Which is where the Salvation Army building comes in.

"If we over-crowd, which we anticipate will happen, we'll be taking our kids over there during the day, and use their facility for that," Guarino said.

Wildish said with the Denison club taking over the youth program, they can focus their efforts - and money - on other services.

"One thing that I've always asked children and the other coaches is let's find a way to improve."

Wildish said the Salvation Army will still offer the same sports programs - and they'll still be run the same way.

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