Boys & Girls Club one step closer to clubhouse
The Boys & Girls Club of Lake Tahoe is one step closer to getting a new clubhouse, thanks to a $505,000 check from Park Cattle Co.
“The Boys & Girls Club objective was to do a lot of good things for young people,” Park Cattle President Bruce Park said. “The youth is where it’s at and that’s where we want to put our resources. We like the opportunity to give and we did.”
The funds will be used in the construction of a 28,000-square-foot multi-use facility with an indoor soccer arena and volleyball courts. The club has operated nine years without a designated clubhouse.
The building will likely sit on Lake Tahoe Unified School District property. The school district approved a proposal from the club in November to build a shared facility near Al Tahoe Elementary School.
The California Department of Education has reviewed the concept, leaving the final decision up to the district. The school board votes tonight on a joint-use agreement between the district and the club.
“This donation is an excellent opportunity for the Boys & Girls Club to begin our capital campaign,” Executive Director DeAnne Hooper said. “It shows the community that there is support out there for the opportunities we offer to kids. It’s a wonderful start. This is one of our lead gifts. When you start out with a lead this big it makes the capital campaign so much easier.”
The U.S. Forest Service purchased the Dreyfus Estate buildings from Park Cattle June 15 for $575,000. The Dreyfus Estate has been the center of controversial negotiations since 1997, when the federal government gave Olympic Group, a land-brokerage company, 1,350 acres of public land around Las Vegas in exchange for the Dreyfus buildings and the Zephyr Cove property.
As part of its June 15 agreement with the Forest Service, Park Cattle paid the U.S. government $70,000 in back rent for exclusive use of about six acres of public land surrounding the Dreyfus buildings. Park chose to donate the remaining $505,000 from the settlement to Boys & Girls Club of Lake Tahoe.
Boys & Girls Club President Jeff Tillman said Park Cattle Company has quietly supported the community for years.
“We’re just thrilled that they have given us this donation,” Tillman said. “It’s going to help so many kids. We’re going to get this building done. There’s no doubt in my mind about it. It’s going to be great. This town is in desperate need of this.”
Hooper and Tillman said the club will be open to children throughout South Shore, on both sides of the state line.
Because the Nevada-side club at Lake Park Apartments may lose its building next year, Tillman said eventually he would like to see another satellite club site. Until then, he hopes to find a way to bus Stateline and Zephyr Cove kids to the new facility.
South Lake Tahoe Chief of Police and Fire Brad Bennett has been a Boys & Girls Club board member for seven years. He said he is very pleased with the donation.
“This is a great day for the club,” he said Monday at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, where Park presented Tillman the check. “This is what we’ve been working toward. This will help us take the next step, creating a safe environment for a lot of kids. As police chief, this is our No. 1 method of crime prevention. It starts with the kids.”
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