The Boys and Girls Club of Kingsville has officially started its annual fundraising campaign as the organization plans to add a second gymnasium to its clubhouse in order to facilitate increased support of its popular indoor sports programs.

“We’re asking the community to come together and help support this need for our children,” John Perez, Chief Executive Officer of the BGCK, said. “We have lots of teams, but we’ve run out of room.”

Founded in 1963, the Boys and Girls Club of Kingsville has utilized its current facility, located at 1238 E. Kenedy St., since the mid-1980s. Its existing gymnasium has been at the site since its construction, and had its floor replaced in 2016.

Perez said the plan is to convert the clubhouse’s existing outdoor patio into an 80-by-100-foot indoor gymnasium. He said games are played in the patio area, but on many days the weather makes it difficult to do so.

“It’s just too hot, too cold or too wet, and a dual gym would allow us to provide more games during the week,” he said.

In addition, Perez said the second gym would also allow the BGCK to not only reach more children, but also provide additional space where adults could play basketball.

“We could have a special time where adults could come in and play as well,” he said. “Right now, there’s a big demand for that, too.”

He said the BGCK’s indoor sports programs “have really become a success,” and have helped prepare children for UIL sports as they enter junior high and high school.

“And statistics have shown that kids that are involved in sports are less likely to go find other negative influences or get into trouble,” Perez said. “And with sports, we also push education. No pass, no play, which they need to prepare for in UIL.”

The project will be completed in three phases, Perez said, with this year’s campaign financing the first phase at $100,000.

“That’s just so we can support (constructing) the building itself,” he said. “This is not the guts, the air conditioning or things like that. It’s the cement and the steel building itself.”

Perez said the organization is still taking quotes, but he estimates that it will cost about $200,000 to complete the new gymnasium.

“Which is still very good,” he said. “Normally, a project like this would cost half-a-million dollars, but we’re trying to go as economical as possible.”

One difference with this year’s campaign, Perez said, is that the BGCK has elected to forgo its traditional fundraising method of hosting a series of events throughout the year.

“We’re changing it up this year,” said. “Instead of doing several events, and asking people several times to support our fundraiser, what we’re going to do is just a one-time ask of the community in hopes of raising the same amount that we would raise in two or three events.”

Perez said hosting multiple fundraisers throughout the year led to some burnout from campaign donors.

“What we found is we were going back to the same donors and asking from them over and over again,” he said. “So we’re not going to do that this year.”

Perez said the BGCK has already started reaching out to area businesses and community members for their support. While they are accepting donations of any size, Perez said donors contributing $25,000 or more can choose between a nameplate on the wall or a square logo on the court inside the new gym.

“We’re looking for long-term donors that are willing to make a difference in this community,” he said.

In lieu of hosting several fundraising events, Perez said the organization will instead host a “Thank You” event in late September that will be open to campaign donors.

“It’ll likely be a barbecue bash where we will invite everybody who has contributed and have fun,” he said.

For more information about the BGCK fundraising campaign or to make a donation, contact John Perez at (361) 592-2100, by cell at (361) 675-0213 or by email at ceo@bgckingsville.com.

Anthony Ruiz can be contacted at aruiz@king-ranch.com or (361) 221-0251.

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