REDMOND, OR -- The Redmond Boys and Girls Club will soon be known as “REACH” as it completes its transition away from the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). Executive Director Jenny O'Keefe says the shift will bring stability to the local nonprofit. "One of the things that we noticed that we were organically doing was creating these life experiences for kids, which create self-awareness and are helping them with their social relationships. We really wanted to explore that and go deeper into those programs to help kids find the connections in their lives that they need to be healthy adults."
"REACH" stands for Redmond Experience Activity Connection Hub. O'Keefe tells KBND News, "Although it is similar in nature to the Boys and Girls Clubs’ philosophy, our mission is creating connections for youth to thrive in our community through meaningful, fun, real world experiences. And, it so reflects what we’ve been doing for the last two years. It just gives it more structure and better organizes how we are going to proceed to meet the needs in our community."
Since the division of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Oregon about two years ago, O’Keefe had been pursuing a local charter with the national organization. But, she says the board decided the funding model required by BGCA is not sustainable in a city the size of Redmond. "There have been reports in the community that this was based on a lack of funds- and that simply is not the case. Fundraising will always be an ongoing part of our nonprofit. However, moving forward, the board recognized the need to start looking at more long-term, sustainable and self-sufficient options. And, that really wasn’t in line with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America strategy."
Read more about why the Redmond club is reorganizing away from BGCA.
According to O’Keefe, the nonprofit maintains the same board, staff and membership fees. Two years ago, they served about 30 kids in the after-school program. Now, daily attendance averages around 150. For those kids, O’Keefe says not much will change except the name and logo.