Just last month, the Boys and Girls Club in Harrisburg cut the ribbon on a $3 million renovation and expansion on Division Street. Children’s lives are being built up.
But at the Dogwood Terrace Boys and Girls Club on 15th Avenue, vandals and thieves appeared intent on tearing lives down.
That club was forced to close Oct. 1 after burglars broke in and stole flat-screen TVs, laptop computers and iPads.
Not merely content with ripping off a charity, whoever broke in also apparently broke classroom windows, damaged the gymnasium floor and sprayed a fire extinguisher all over the place to compound the damage. Anything the extinguisher’s residue touched – especially students’ supplies – got ruined.
You can guess what kind of lowlifes would stoop to such behavior. There are just some bitter people out there who aren’t content with seeing others succeed, or letting one of Augusta’s oldest civic-minded groups try to create an island of hope in a struggling neighborhood.
Now, because of all the damage, about 80 children in that neighborhood no longer have their regular go-to place to study or just have a safe spot to relax after school.
The club intends on reopening, after cleanup and repairs. To do that, the club needs help.
Bridgett Carrington, finance director for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the CSRA, created a GoFundMe account in hopes of raising $25,000 to pay the costs of repairs and replacing everything that was stolen or damaged. You can visit the site at www.gofundme.com/help-dogwood-terrace.
The account had raised $810 as of Wednesday morning.
Augusta can do better than that.
The clubs – there are eight of them now in the Augusta area – began in 1952 when local businessman E.W. Hagler established a Boys Club chapter in Harrisburg. That’s the club that just got renovated.
In 1990 the Boys Clubs of America started inviting and including girls, and in 1994 the Dogwood Terrace club – the one that just got robbed and vandalized – became Augusta’s first Boys and Girls Club. That club is its own piece of local civic history.
And as much as this club gives to Augusta, it now needs Augusta to give a little bit more back.
Check out the GoFundMe page at the Web address listed above, or call the clubs’ regional administrative office at (706) 504-4191 to find out more precisely how you can best help the Dogwood Terrace club and the children it serves.