Boys & Girls Club receives $1M for teen center, gym
J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation gift supports Meridian Boys & Girls with new, upgraded facilities
MERIDIAN, Idaho – Dec. 9, 2014 — The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation announced today a $1 million gift to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Ada County to help build a new teen center and gym at the Meridian Boys & Girls Club.
The gift helps support the capital campaign for the project — one that will build and upgrade facilities that serve as a second home to many area children, J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation President Jamie MacMillan said.
“We want this gift to help the Meridian Boys & Girls become a world-class facility that kids and the staff deserve, and one they can’t wait to get to,” MacMillan said.
The gift came as a surprise to Club leaders, who have been working to raise funds to break ground on the new center in spring 2015. The project will help eliminate waiting lists during peak times of the year.
“This is such an unexpected blessing,” said Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd, co-chair of the capital campaign and a long-time board member for the Club. “Until now, the focus of our campaign has been to add space to accommodate the kids who need us, and to add the most useful space possible. This gift allows us to expand our dream and really create a state-of-the-art facility.”
The Meridian Boys & Girls Club serves on average 225 kids daily during the school year and 280 in the summer, said Boys & Girls Clubs of Ada County Executive Director Colleen Braga. Approximately 20 percent of members are teens, a population that is difficult to attract and even harder to retain.
Co-chair of the campaign and Gardner Company COO Tommy Ahlquist echoed Braga, and said it’s important the new environment be attractive to teens.
“Teens choose with their feet,” Ahlquist said. “Support from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation allows us to upgrade our plans and really create that cool, collaborative space that teens like.”
MacMillan hopes the gift will create an environment where technology fuses with academics in a space where children and teens enjoy learning.
“Learning should not stop at the end of the school day,” Braga said. “But after school learning needs to have an entirely different feel and take place in an environment that is creative and exciting. That’s exactly what this funding will allow us to achieve.”
Half of the gift has been designated as a match to help expedite a strong finish to the Boys & Girls Clubs’ fundraising campaign.
“Not only do we want this gift to reimagine and redesign learning, we also want it to be a catalyst for completing the campaign,” MacMillan said. “Our hope is that a matching gift will inspire community members to give.”
The $1 million marks the third gift in a line of major donations from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation that place a specific importance on community partnerships and limitless learning for all children and families.
About the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation
The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation is a Boise-based, private family foundation committed to the vision of limitless learning for all Idahoans. In the last 17 years, the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation has invested more than $630 million in Idaho. The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation honors the legacy of Joe and Kathryn Albertson, founders of the Albertsons grocery store, however it is not affiliated with, Albertson’s, LLC. For more information, visit jkaf.org
About the Boys & Girls Clubs of Ada County
The Boys & Girls Club provides a safe place and positive after school and summer programs for youth ages 6 to 18; memberships are just $10 a year. Key programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. Over 4,000 youth each year are served in Ada County at facilities located in Garden City and Meridian. For additional information please visit www.adaclubs.org, or call 208.639.3160.