Keeping the Club: New energy revitalizes Boys & Girls Club of San Benito

SAN BENITO — “Wham. Boom. Thoomb.”

The sounds of bouncing basketballs echo across the gym floor of the Boys & Girls Club of San Benito.

The “whack, whack, clack” sounds of billiard balls pop like firecrackers. The smell of a hot lunch drifts into the air, and the low hum of childen’s voices spiced with laughter makes it clear this club is different from what it used to be.

This comes after numerous threats of closure due to lack of funding.

Liz Chavez, a member of the new board which began forming in December, spoke excitedly about new possibilities.

In May, the club at 410 N. Stookey Road held a yard sale of clothes and miscellaneous goods. Chavez said a new board had been created and the club was in much better shape financially.

Carlos Gomez, the new director, says the new board has given the club fresh vitality.

“We have a young board, very enthusiastic,” Gomez said. “All the board members are club kids. They are taking ownership of the funding and the club.”

Gomez said because the board members have such a strong history and connection with the club, they are more personally invested in its welfare. That translates, among other things, into an aggressive search for funding.

The United Way of Northern Cameron County has been very good about supporting the club. Community Development Block Grants from the city have helped fund operations. Board members are also seeking funding through other sources.

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