DENVER (CBS4) – Someone is now $25,000 richer after winning the early bird drawing in the Boys and Girls Club dream house raffle.

Proceeds from the raffle fund programs for 2,000 children in the Denver metro area.

At the Cope branch, children come in after school and are sent straight upstairs to read and do homework. Then, it’s time for fun — kids can play some pool, shoot some hoops, or go to art class.

When CBS4’s Alan Gionet visited, the kids were making spring hats with papier mache.

“Each one of our Boys and Girls Clubs approaches this with a holistic approach, so it’s not just serving the kids and giving them help with homework and giving them a warm meal,” Sarah Graham with the Boys and Girls Clubs said.

At the Cope branch, that holistic approach includes group therapy sessions through a new partnership with Judi’s House.

“Children do grieve and they are often forgotten in their grief process,” Megan McLean with Judi’s House said.

During the toughest times, there is a place to turn.

“We are able to reach families that we would not otherwise be able to reach by coming into the community and being in a safe place,” McLean said.

But the clubs are also places of celebration. When Gionet visited, they were celebrating Moises Banuelos, the star of a music video.

“We wanted to have a little fun with the kids and kind of show what we got,” Banuelos said.

Banuelos recently won the Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year contest. After attending the club for ten years, the 16-year-old is now a junior staff member.

“They gave me a job, a place to be, a place to hang out, a place to do my homework. It really does mean the world to me,” Banuelos said.

And he is making his plans for college.

“I want to be an FBI agent, I want to study criminology,” he said.

Banuelos will take part in a state-wide Youth of the Year contest on Monday.

LINKS: Dream House Raffle | Judi’s House


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