Funding crunch hammers B&G Club

Director says club may have to shut down in January

Noreen Frisch

Noreen Frisch

KINGMAN - Facing less grant funding and lower donations, the Boys & Girls Club of Kingman and Golden Valley may shut its doors in January.

As of Christmas Eve, the non-profit organization only had enough funds to last through the middle of January, said Executive Director Noreen Frisch.

"If I can't pay my staff, do you think they are going to stay here?" Frisch said. "If we don't pay our electric bill, you think UniSource keeps us going?"

The Boys & Girls Club has more than 100 students participating, and it saw an increase in sign-ups for January, Frisch said.

"As the economy gets worse, we're going to have more need," Frisch said.

Participants in the program only pay $60 a year. They are limited to ages 6-18.

The Boys & Girls Club's main focus is on providing after-school activities. The club is open from 2 to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Boys & Girls Club of Kingman and Golden Valley operates on at $210,000 yearly budget. The majority of the revenue comes from donations and grants, Frisch said.

The Boys & Girls Club has been in dire financial straits before, though this is the worst that Frisch has seen since her arrival in 2000.

"The economy is taking a toll on people," Frisch said. "People are holding onto their money, and I don't blame them."

The Boys & Girls Club runs the MethSMART program. They lost funding from the Governor's Office for the methamphetamine awareness program this year, Frisch said.

Since she teaches the program, Frisch said she is now running it by herself. Since its inception, the six-week program has taught more than 1,200 local youth.

In July, the Staples Foundation for Learning awarded the Boys & Girls Club of Kingman $3,000 for MethSMART.

They started the Positive Opportunities When Eating Right program this year. The program lets members take a backpack of food home on Friday to eat during the weekend. They currently have 76 members participating in the program.

When more funding was available during the 15 years of operation in the area, the Boys & Girls Club offered activities until 9 p.m. on Fridays and during the day on Saturday.

"I have cut down everything I think I can while keeping the integrity of the program as a whole," Frisch said.

This was the first year the Boys & Girls Club didn't receive any grants from the Mohave County Tobacco Use Prevention Program, Frisch said. They've received funding from county program the previous 10 years, she said.

The Boys & Girls Club continues to look for funding from grants, having recently applied for one from the Justice Department.

The organization sent letters to local businesses on Dec. 12 in hopes of additional donations.

Even with less monetary donations, Frisch said organizations have been finding other means to support the Boys & Girls Club.

"People are coming through different ways," Frisch said.

Papa Murphy's raffled off a roadster pedal car, raising more than $500 on Tuesday. The Arizona State Prison, run by Management & Training Corporation, is raffling a clubhouse built by prisoners.

Wal-Mart employees are also volunteering with the organization, especially with the POWER Up program.

If you're interested in donating to the Boys & Girls Club, contact Frisch at (928) 718-0033.