B&G Club joins Delta group
By John Howell
The Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Mississippi in Batesville will be acquired October 1 by the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Delta, local club director Latasha Rice announced to the board of mayor and aldermen Tuesday.
“This is a collaboration of our organization to come together to allow for the sustainability of our clubs,” Rice said before introducing David Dallas, CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Delta (BGCMD).
The Batesville club would become the ninth club under the BGCMD umbrella, according to Rice.
“One of the things that Mississippi Delta is attracted to Batesville about is our programming and our community involvement. We would be a model for the other clubs which means what we currently do here with the programming will be duplicated with the other clubs of the Mississippi Delta,” Rice said.
“The Boys and Girls Clubs of America has really put a focus on management agreements and mergers,” Dallas said. “What it will help us do is get more grant funds and also help us get more foundation funding,” citing annual budgets of $1.5 million and $250,000 respectively, for the BGCMD and BGCNW.
“To be honest, every Boys and Girls Club needs to have a budget that’s at least that size to be effective,” Dallas said. “Some of our clubs are operating on an $80,000 budget.”
“All of the money that we would continue to raise here, whether it’s from the city or the county, that’s already been going to club in Batesville, that’s exactly where it would continue to go,” Dallas continued, “because all of the money that we raise here still doesn’t cover the $250,000 cost of the club.
“The money that we give is taxpayer money,” Mayor Jerry Autrey said. “We must be assured that the money that we give from the City of Batesville … that all of that money stays here.”
“Every city — well, not at this level, y’all do such a tremendous job of supporting this organization — but every city and county gives anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000 and we have to make sure that all of that money is spent at the club in that community, and our audits show that,” Dallas replied.
Batesville budgeted $25,000 during fiscal 2017 for the club’s operation.
“The money that’s raised for Panola County will only be used for the Batesville club,” Rice said.
“That would include all individual donations, too, from local fund-raisers,” Dallas added.
“It would help you as far as getting grants and so on; … you’re not asking for more money?” Alderman Bill Dugger asked.
“We’re not asking for more money; we definitely want you to continue to support us,” Dallas replied. “Your city and county does a tremendous job of supporting us.”
Several members from the present BGCNM would be selected to serve on the 501 (3)c BGCMD non-profit corporation board, according to Dallas. The Batesville club would keep its present name.
The Boys and Girls Club of the Mississippi Delta, Inc. operates clubs in Yazoo City, Lexington, Itta Bena, Greenwood, Grenada, Clarksdale, Jonestown and Tunica, according to its web site.