Durant Boys and Girls Club opens its doors

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DURANT, OK -- The Boys and Girls Club of Durant officially opened its doors Wednesday.

Kids started arriving at 8 a.m., and by noon they already had a full day of basketball, dodgeball and air hockey.

And they were just getting started.

Club member Zamarion Stevens said he couldn't wait to hang out with his friends, as well as meet new ones.

"Well when I woke up this morning, me and my brother, we got so excited, that we wanted to come here so bad," he said.

Stevens joined about 30 other kids, as they launched the first day of the Club.

Director Barb Dunnam said starting the club was a three-year process.

"Our board of directors have worked hard to raise money, to speak with the Boys and Girls club of America and fulfill all the requirements to be a club," she said.

Now that they're open, Dunnam says it's the fun part.

"This morning - today - has been like the best birthday party anyone has ever hoped for," she said. "We opened our doors, and the kids came piling in."

Parent Daryl Holaday said the club is important for the community.

"I was nervous. We've been in the typical daycare setting for the past nine years, so for him to be excited about it and know people here, put my mind at ease," he said.

The kids get something the average daycare doesn't offer, Holaday said.

"They're gonna teach them some life lessons," he said. "I know a lot of games that they play are thought oriented, so it makes them think about what they're doing."

While it was the hard work of a lot of grown-ups that got this Club off the ground, the Boys and Girls Club said it's the kids that will keep it together.

"This community loves and cares about their children, and our best and biggest asset are our kids, and they're our best and biggest voice," Dunnam said.

And those voices rang through loud and clear Wednesday.

"They'll all tell you this club belongs to them, this club belongs to this community," Dunnam said.

They're still enrolling kids and expect to soon have around 100 kids a day, she said. They're open 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. during school breaks, and 3 a.m. to 7 p.m. on school days.

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