The Boys and Girls Clubs of America is closing local clubs for lack of funding but paid the president and CEO, Roxanne Spillett, nearly $1M in 2008. The groups execs spent $4.3M on travel, $1.6M on conventions and meetings and $544,000 on lobbying. A bill is in the Senate now that, if passed, will funnel $425M in federal funds to the Boys and Girls Club.
Four Republican senators have asked the organization to provide detailed financial information. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) says the bill will go nowhere until an accounting is made. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) says the organization might be "siphoning off federal dollars that should be going to help kids." Sen. Jon Kyle (R-AZ) and John Cornyn (R-TX) also signed the request for further information.
Remember, when Air America Radio was failing and broke? Remember when they "borrowed" $875,000 from a New York City Boys and Girls Club charter organization. Now-senator, Al Franken (D-MN), eventually signed an agreement to repay the funds, although they tried to tell us that Air America did not borrow the money, the parent organization did. Funny thing, though, Al signed the repayment agreement. Most of us would not want to put our signature on an $875,000 loan unless we had no choice knowing we actually owed the money.
In April 2009, it was announced that four clubs in Washington, D.C. would close; others would be sold and the organization "coped" with a $7M deficit.
In addition, the region's 22 Boys and Girls Clubs have experienced declines in membership as students abandoned civic organizations in favor of video games, competitive sports, music lessons and other activities.The East Side Branch of the Boys and Girls Club in the Tacoma area, will close in June 2010.The South End Club closed almost a year ago. There's a new plan underway to develop HOPE (Home of Opportunity, Possibility and Empowerment) centers. The Boys and Girls Club execs say they can serve more children with HOPE.
The changes reflect a movement away from outdated gymnasiums toward more modern clubhouses with state-of-the-art game rooms and computer labs.
In December 2009, the Boys and Girls Club of Columbus, Ohio chose between paying utility bills and paying employees or letting them go. The Columbus community came to the rescue, not the Boys and Girls Club, while the national organization conferenced, convened and met.
After reading around the Internet about Boys and Girls Clubs, their main goal is to give children a place to go after school, but increasingly, more children are staying away, and finding more high-tech places to spend their time and energy.