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Boys and Girls Club plans tourney

The Thomson Boys and Girls Club will hold its first annual charity golf tournament June 21 at Belle Meade Country Club. Local Boys and Girls Club officials hope the tournament will be the first step in a new, more aggressive fund-raising campaign.

Unit Director Chuck Graham said that financial strains on Thomson's parent office in Augusta, as well as increased costs which stem from the opening of a new facility last year, have increased the need for the club to reach out in the community.

"Right now we're not in dire straits; it's to the point where we've got to get out there and raise some more money," he said.

Mr. Graham also said that in previous years the club was able to operate solely on large grants and one fundraiser -- the Steak and Burger Dinner. Now, he said, those grants are running out.

"We're trying to get private donations -- anything we can count on annually," he said. "I think that's the best route to go, because sometimes you can't count on grants, and that's the problem we've run into."

The Thomson Boys and Girls Club moved into its new facility last fall to much fanfare. Located within walking distance of Thomson High School, the club is home to four classrooms -- including a computer lab, as well as a gymnasium. Most importantly, the new facility can handle far more children than in the past.

As of right now, the Thomson Boys and Girls Club is still being supported partially by the Augusta office. Mr. Graham said that the fundraising campaign will be the first step toward becoming self-sufficient.

"That's always something we're striving for," he said.

Commission Chairman Charlie Newton, who also sits on the Thomson Boys and Girls Club board, said that a campaign to raise local money is a good idea.

"Because we don't have alumni yet here locally -- folks that have come through the Boys and Girls Club -- we have yet to build our support base," he said.

The cost to play in the four-man scramble event will be $50 per person. For more information, contact Rich at Belle Meade at 595-4511.

Web posted on Thursday, May 27, 2004

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