Boys & Girls Club Expands Facility in Albemarle - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Boys & Girls Club Expands Facility in Albemarle

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ribbon-cutting at the addition to the Southwood Boys and Girls Club ribbon-cutting at the addition to the Southwood Boys and Girls Club

The Boys & Girls Club of Central Virginia is making a big investment in the lives of Albemarle County children. Thursday it celebrated the grand opening of a new, 2,000-square-foot addition at Southwood Mobile Home Park.

The Boys & Girls Club has only had a presence in Southwood for about a decade. But in that time, it has grown from 30 to 120 kids - served on a daily basis. And thanks to the new space, the club says it will be able to continue its mission of helping children succeed.

To say the kids at the Southwood Boys & Girls Club are excited would be an understatement.

"You can play like, um, on this stuff and on the Wii U, and you can color, you can do stuff in here," said first-grader Kimberly Delacruz.

"It's better, it's a lot bigger," said fourth-grader Cindy Bueso-Sanchez.

The club is cutting the ribbon on the additional space to accommodate more growth in Southwood.

"The new addition allows us to have more kids, and that's the huge need, and also a specific special space just for the teens," said Olga Arouca, Southwood's unit director.

Bueso-Sanchez doesn't know what she'd do without the Boys & Girls Club.

"I'd be sitting home doing nothing, because there's like nothing to do at home. It helps us with our homework, it's very helpful, the field trips are really fun," she said.

Sellers grew up in his hometown Boys & Girls Club, and says it probably inspired him to become a police officer.

"It kept me out of trouble, it got me involved in some positive activities," Sellers said.

That's why he's proud of the department's continued partnership with the club.

"It gives kids some positive events and activities so that they're not breaking the law," Sellers said.

Arouca said, "If they're here, they're not out there. They're not in gangs; they're not doing something they're not supposed to be doing."

The Boys & Girls Club partnered with Habitat for Humanity of greater Charlottesville - Southwood's owner - to expand the center. It also relied heavily on the help of volunteers, who helped saved the club more than $50,000 in labor and planning.

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