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Battlefords Boys and Girls Club celebrates year of resilience, growth

Significant increase in meals and snacks served reported.
Battlefords BGC drop-in programs, satellite site programs, special programs, summer adventure day camps and summer parks drop-in programs saw nearly 750 participants in 2022.

THE BATTLEFORDS — “2022 can be described as a year of resilience and grown for BGC Battlefords,” according to President Darcy Woolfit and Executive Director Nicole Combres.

“After more than two years of program adjustments/closures, virtual meetings and events, along with reduced capacities, we experienced our first normal year coming out of the pandemic,” says the group that held an annual general meeting May 18.

With all programs and services operating at eight different locations throughout the year, the impact made was significant, the organization’s leaders say.

Drop-in programs, satellite site programs, special programs, summer adventure day camps and summer parks drop-in programs saw nearly 750 participants, with more than 660 of those being children and youth receiving direct service delivery.

Within those programs that operated over 290 days of the year, BGC served 11,230 meals and 23,228 snacks. This is an increase of more than 16,000 snacks and meals served the year prior.

Appreciation has been expressed by parents and guardians.

“The club is such a lifesaver. We are really fortunate to have your programs here (in the Battlefords). You do a lot for the community,” according to one parent.

“My son asks to come all the time.”

Another stated, “You guys are such a blessing.”

Battlefords BGC participated in a Canada-wide evaluation project — the Learning and Impact Project. The purpose was to help clubs understand and improve their impact on the lives of children and youth in their communities. Through quantitative and qualitative means data was gathered.

“Through this project, we found that our members are more physically active and knowledgeable about what foods are healthy for them because of the club,” leaders say.

“They are more excited to try new things and make better choices for themselves because of the club. Members are more confident in their own abilities and feel more comfortable being themselves.”

The club has 43 employees, whom leaders credit for the program’s effectiveness. Eight of these are former club members. The program also benefits from 60 volunteers.

Fundraising is a keystone of the program. In 2022 the club hosted Race for Kids and a gala.

“These two annual fundraisers were not only well attended, but they also raised critical dollars for our organization,” leaders say.

The organization is supported by donors, funders and supporters, staff and a board of directors.

“Living the mission, vision and values of BGC Battlefords, they (the board) also understand the community needs, which is critical to our service delivery. These people are part of the fabric that was us all together …”

At the meeting, long-serving member Bernie Etcheverry was celebrated. After serving on the board of directors for more than 30 years, Bernie has concluded his time with the board.

Directors, staff, members and their families thank Etcheverry for his many years of dedication, commitment, support and passion.

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