COOKE COUNTY, TX - The Boys and Girls Club of Cooke County serves more than 200 kids each day. As membership grows, so does the need for a new facility.
The Boys and Girls Club of America started in 1860. Although the Boys and Girls Club of Cooke County has not been around quite that long, this club is going on seven decades of service to local kids.
"Our facility is very old. 1947 was when it was built," said Tricia West, chief professional officer of Cooke County's Boys and Girls Club.
So when one of the original builders of the club approached Mayor Pro Tem, Ray Nichols, asking if he was up for a big challenge... Nichols decided to hear him out.
"He said I want to challenge you to build a new one because I was born in 1947 and that club was built in 1947. He said you're looking kind of old . So you need to build a new club," said Nichols.
Nichols started the Building Great Kids campaign in 2009, in an effort to raise funds for a new Boys and Girls Club of Cooke County. Now, the community's hard work is paying off.
"We're building a 32,700 square foot facility. It's going to be paid for when it's completed. We've had gifts as small as $5 from one of our seven-year-old members who wanted to contribute. And we've had gifts in the seven figure range," said Nichols.
The total cost to construct the new facility will be about $7.5 million.
The campaign has received $1.5 million gifts and have also raised more than $3.5 million in funds.
"It used to be the Boys and Girls Club were a lot sports oriented. We do still do sports, some of them, but we do much more than that," said West.
The new facility will consist of a teen center and youth center. Each will have a computer lab, a study room and a lounge area. It will also have two gyms and a media room to hold educational classes for the kids and their parents.
"A lot of kids have gone through there. So us having a new facility is just a dream come true," said West.