LAKE SHORE, N.Y.- Three quiet rooms in the Williams T. Hoag Education Center are ready for students, and were years in the making.
"It has been our labor of love for three years, we've started off with just fundraising, spreading the message of how important this boys and girls club is to our community," said Andrea Sunday, Unit Director for new Boys and Girls Club of Lake Shore.
The hope is that starting October 3rd, these rooms will be filled with the buzz of an after school program. But with just a week to go, the club is a daunting $25,000 short on start-up capital, and Sunday says the need for a program like this is great.
"There's 3,500 children in our community, and they're faced with obesity, poverty, single family home, violent homes, and they need a safe place, a positive place to grow," said Sunday.
Club leaders have raised about $50,000 so far, $12,000 just last weekend with a 5K run at Connors Hot Dog stand. With interest and applications pouring in, organizers are holding out hope they'll raise enough funds to meet their deadline.
"We're nervous, we have faith, you know, in our excitement, we're hoping that our positive energy will help hone that in," said Sunday.
The club will be open to all school-age children, there's a room for arts and crafts, one for games, and one for homework. Technicians are working to be sure the four donated computers will be in working order for the start of the program. The club is operating solely on donations like these.
"You can apply for grants, but grants take time. It's like a hurry up and wait, we have some grants out that we've applied for, we haven't heard about them yet," said Sunday.
Until then, the Club is relying on faith in the Lake Shore community's generosity to open its doors on time.
"It feels fantastic. It really feels great," said Sunday. "Everyday we're one step closer, every day when we organize more supplies, get the walls painted, we're getting excited, we're feeling like we're ready to open, we can't wait for the kids to come here."
The club has enough manpower and supplies to open on time, but it is required to have at least $75,000 in the bank before welcoming students.
For information on the Boys and Girls Club of Lake Shore, visit the program's website.
You can also contact Andrea Sunday at 926-2480.
To nominate a good neighbor of your own, send an email to GoodNeighbors@wgrz.com.