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Northwest Boys & Girls Club finds a home

By ERIC GERSHMAN
© St. Petersburg Times
published July 19, 2002

CARROLLWOOD -- The Northwest Boys & Girls Club has a new home: The Jewish Community Center off Gunn Highway.

The club, which operated its summer program at Cannella Elementary School this year, will begin programs at the JCC complex on Aug. 7.

"The people (who run JCC) have been friends for a long time," said Paddy Moses, public relations and development director for Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay. "Everyone feels very good about trying to work out a partnership."

Last month, Boys & Girls Club president Roy Opfer said an agreement to merge the programs was in the works: "The JCC is a United Way partner agency whose mission is compatible with ours." Specifics were not available, but part of the negotiations regarded reduction of the JCC after-school program costs. They previously have ranged from $380 a month for year-round care to $150 a month for children who attend only two days a week.

The Boys & Girls Club ended its three-year partnership with Plantation at the end of the 2001-02 school year. Residents voted against building a permanent club facility in the neighborhood.

During its time there, the Boys & Girls Club operated out of one large portable building in Plantation's common area.

The recreational facilities at JCC are considerable, situated on 22 pastoral acres east of the Veterans Expressway. They include a large swimming pool, a fitness room and areas for racquetball, basketball, soccer, archery, badminton and volleyball. Boys & Girls club officials are hopeful, Moses said, that in the future they can build a facility nearby to share with the JCC.

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