$1 Million Awarded to Boys & Girls Club’s Teen Program Center
following approval of federal funding, Markquart Center renovation moves forward
McKenna Scherer, photos by Andrea Paulseth |
The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Greater Chippewa Valley will receive funding to develop the Lee & Mary Markquart Center, which will house the Teen Program Center, after more than $250 million in direct spending for Wisconsin projects was approved by Congress for 2023.
Both U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin and outgoing U.S. Rep. Ron Kind supported the bipartisan Omnibus Appropriations package passed at the end of December 2022, which will deliver more than $16.5 million in federal funds to the state’s Third Congressional District.
The area Boys and Girls Clubs current teen center has not been renovated since its construction in the 1940s, and the space is only used at half of its current capacity. The hope is to renovate and create an environment youth want to be part of, implement youth development programs that will aid in career opportunities on top of the organization's 40-some current programs, and more.
“This project truly is a game changer for youth in the greater Eau Claire area,” CEO Ann Kaiser said. “This funding will allow us to create spaces that attract youth, and implement youth development programs that help them explore career opportunities, develop good character and citizenship, and reach their full potential. Youth want to have opportunities in an environment that’s fun, engaging and safe.”
The new Teen Center inside the Markquart Center (1005 Oxford Ave.) will increase overall capacity to serve 50 additional Club kids daily, part of its funding already achieved thanks to a $250,000 campaign gift in 2022.
The Boys and Girls Club offers resources and community for all kids ages 7-18, from after-school to summer programming, including snacks and meals. By the end of 2021, the organization supported 7,705 area youths, served 43,600 total snacks and meals and established its plan to expand into Altoona, which opened this past summer.
The organization’s area programming reaches Black River Falls, Menomonie, Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire and Altoona, focusing on three main topics: academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. Annual membership is $30 per family.
Learn more about the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Greater Chippewa Valley online at cvclubs.org and follow them on Facebook.