COTTONWOOD - Last week's announcement that the Boys and Girls Club of Northern Arizona had dissolved has prompted a lot of questions about what will become of the property and assets the club accumulated.
In addition to the financial assets, many people and organizations had made donations of property to the Cottonwood-based club. Two vans are parked outside the clubhouse.
National Boys & Girls Club spokesman Evan McElroy said, "Generally, what we will do as a national organization is work with any entities in the local community to try to resurrect that particular organization or another organization, because if there was a club there in the first place, that means that, at least at the time that the club was formed, there were young people that could benefit from those services. The last thing that you want to see is a club close and kids that were depending on that club's operation locked out.
"I don't know all the particulars in this case. I know that clearly they weren't able to sustain the operation to meet the membership requirements and so unfortunately they decided to dissolve. I know that our staff is in conversations with people in that greater community to figure out if there is another way of getting another boys and girls club or some sort of other organization."
McElroy said, in terms of assets, "All of the property stays with the city. Sounds like the city has jurisdiction over the building, the property or the attached property, vans and equipment inside the club house.
"In this case, it sounds like the case was a more financially driven decision. I do know for a fact that people on our staff in that region are in conversations with members of that community, probably some people that have been connected with the organization as well, to figure out what other options are there to re-establish something in that community for kids.
"The proposed (Verde Valley) teen center would be an outlet for some of the kids there. But, I wonder if there is something for younger kids that could be comparable. But that is an important age to a) keep off the streets and b) provide adults guidance and help with homework and, someone who is not their parents, they might listen to in terms of being smart about making decisions."
McElroy said, "It is not common that we see clubs just go out of business. We have about 1,150 Boys and Girls Clubs or affiliates. It is a very large network. And those 1,150 affiliates operate about 4,000 locations and it is very rare that we see an organization just dissolve in this manner. But when it does happen, our top priority, is there some other organization, a way of providing those services in a community. Some time it takes a while, but more often that not we see some other program put in place so that those kids are not left with no alternatives, that families don't have any other options."
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