Boys & Girls Club near for Coupeville

The town of Coupeville may soon have a safe place for their young people to go and have fun.

Currently, youth in the community have the Central Whidbey Youth Coalition to look to for activities, but recently the Coalition has begun working as a key partner in helping establish Coupeville’s own Boys and Girls Club. The Boys and Girls Club has achieved national recognition for innovative programs designed to enriching the lives of youth. Due to this established reputation, Coupeville came up with the idea of a Boys and Girls Club in 2000 and since then it has been a work-in-progress.

The proposed site for the club is the old firehouse on Main Street in Coupeville. The community members involved will make their final decision on the site July 14. Sue Roundy, who is the head of the leadership group for the project, is excited about the impact that a Boys and Girls Club could have on the community of Coupeville.

“I see this as an opportunity to bring our community together in a positive way. This is a project that the entire community can stand behind and support,” Roundy said.

The plan for the Coupeville Boys and Girls Club is to offer an after school program for both elementary and middle school students. In addition, two nights a week are planned for the high school students. The new Boys and Girls Club will enhance the community of Coupeville by keeping local youth out of trouble and giving them an outlet for after school and weekend activity, according to Roundy. In addition, the club will head up various other projects including the “After the Facts” and “Late Night Central” programs that currently run under the Central Whidbey Youth Coalition.

In order to get the program up and running, the community needs to raise approximately $35,000 to $50,000. Roundy, along with Mike Mouw, manager of People’s Bank in Coupeville, is in charge of fundraising for the club.

Also involved in the cause is John Kolhmann, treasurer of the Central Whidbey Youth Coalition.

“We originally had planned on using a piece of property owned by the school district but design requirements made it impossible,” Kolhmann said.

Kolhman also stated that he originally got involved with the Boys and Girls project through his work at the Coupville Lions Club, of which he is treasurer. He has worked to get the Boys and Girls Club up and running for the past two years, putting in his own time and money into the project.

“I see this as a incubator to show that the children want the opportunity and also that the community wants to support the start of the Boys and Girls Club,” Kolhmann said.

In addition to being the location for the Boys and Girls Club activities, the firehouse will also hold the location for the food bank, “Gifts from the Heart” in Coupeville. The students will share the space with the food bank storage area, according to Roundy.

The Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue district board must approve of the firehall lease before the process can proceed.

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