The Thurston County Boys & Girls club gathered with local community supporters, donors and board members at the Tumwater club Thursday to promote Boys and Girls Clubs across America.
“It’s called the Great Futures Summer Blast, and it is to show the community what the club is like for the kids every day after school,” said Christine Hoffmann, Thurston County’s Boys & Girls Club marketing coordinator.
The Great Futures Campaign was set in motion across the nation Thursday, with special recognition at 3 p.m., signaling the end of a school day.
“At 3 p.m., all the school doors close, and the doors to the Boys and Girls Club open,” said Christie Agtarap, board president of Thurston County’s Boys & Girls Club and a participant in the day’s activities. “This is a nationwide rolling celebration or event; all the clubs across the nation are doing this today.”
The afternoon began in the upper level of the Tumwater club building, where each adult was paired with a child attending the club’s summer program. After the pair introduced themselves and took a photo promoting the campaign, they were off to explore the games set up throughout the building.
“The kid is going to be the ‘adult,’ if you will. They are going to show us certain activities around the club,” Agtarap said.
The club was bustling with children sprinting through the activities. Volunteers ran different stations, which included face painting, limbo and a slip ’n’ slide. Haley Butler, 11, spent her afternoon with the executive director of the Lacey Chamber of Commerce, Stephanie Hemphill. Haley, who has been attending the club for four years, said that her favorite part about the club was the staff.
“We do something like this once a year ... normally we go to small activities for like an hour and just have fun,” Haley said.
The purpose of the day’s activities was not only to promote the work that Boys and Girls Cclubs are doing across the nation, but to also build deeper roots in the Thurston County community, according to Agtarap.
“The Boys and Girls Club is a safe, positive place for kids to go after school,” Agtarap said. “We are proud that in Thurston County we are able to support families, providing 2,600 kids a place to go after school.”