December 18, 2017 10:20:48 AM
With about two weeks to go, the Golden Triangle Boys and Girls Club's "36 Reasons" fundraising campaign is hoping to build momentum.
"The checks haven't been exactly flying in the window, but we do feel like we are making good progress," Director Nadia Colom said Wednesday. "We're still beating the bushes and reaching more and more people through our social media campaigns and the exposure we've received in the local media. There's still a lot of work to be done."
The "36 Reasons" campaign aims to raise as much as $1.5 million to open a new club in West Point and move the Starkville club to a bigger location. The campaign launched with the first of 36 daily videos displayed on the Jumbo-tron at Mississippi State's Davis Wade Field during the Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving Day. That part of the campaign concludes with the final video on New Year's Eve.
Although the campaign will officially end then, Colom said she expects responses to continue well after its close, as will the club's efforts to raise money for the two projects.
Colom did note the effort has received a few "sizable" donations, including $25,000 from the Mullen Foundation -- named for former Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen and his wife, Megan.
"There was never any thought that we would be finished by the end of the year," Colom said. "We realized that this would be an ongoing effort."
Colom said plans for the first part of the project, opening a club in West Point, will continue as scheduled, regardless of the amount of the funds raised.
The plan ultimately calls for the club to be located at the 20,000 square-foot former Flavorich building on Churchill Road that will be renovated to provide six classrooms, a gym, a recreation center, a fully-equipped kitchen -- which will allow the club to provide hot meals as it does in Columbus -- and administrative offices.
Colom said the club will open this summer no matter the state of the renovations there.
"Our goal is still to start a summer program at West Point, even if it's at a school, which is something the city has said they would provide," Colom said. "We're still on schedule, but we really need the community support to make our plans come through."
Colom hopes to end the year with a fundraising flourish, especially among those who may want to make charitable deductions before the year's end which could be applied to 2017 taxes.
Anyone who wishes to donate to the club's campaign can visit the club's campaign website -- www.36reasonsbgc.org -- and hit the donate button. Donations can also be mailed to the Starkville office at 911 Lynn Lane, Starkville, MS 39759.
Slim Smith is a columnist and feature writer for The Dispatch. His email address is [email protected]
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