By Jeff Todd
WELLINGTON, Colo. (CBS4)– For more than 20 years, the Boys and Girls Club of Larimer County has made the best with what it had in Wellington. It was a small shed in a park that served dozens of kids each afternoon.
On Thursday, the kids were surprised with a new facility.
“We have been located in a 2,000 square foot renovated park shelter for the past 25 years. 40 to 60 kids every day,” said Kaycee Headrick, the Executive Director of Boys and Girls Club of Larimer County.
On Tuesday, BGCLC closed on purchasing the Wellington Community Church. After some renovation the club will move into a space five times bigger than what they operate in right now.
“This space is exactly what Boys and Girls Club needs,” Headrick said about the church space. “We have a kitchen to serve food; we have classrooms that we can renovate to make really impactful programs happen.”
Several donors and board members were on-hand as a small group of kids were surprised with the news of a new club. Daren and Ronna Roberson, and their company Sage Homes, donated $500,000 allowing BGCLC to cover the final sale price and renovations.
“The kids are going to get a huge benefit, they get a gym they get art rooms, they get a technology lab,” said Ronna Roberson. “This community is growing so much and the kids just need places to go, places to hang out.“
“It’s just nice to be able to give back,” said Daren Roberson.
The Wellington Community Church will share the space with the club for a few months as it builds a new church in a different location.
Because of the small space in the current facility, BGCLC can only serve about 60 kids. There’s a waiting list of another 40 families. The new facility will wipe out the waiting list and allow for even more children to receive after school care.
“We’ve been turning kids away for the past three years,” said Headrick. “The community of wellington continues to grow, and so does the need for afterschool and affordable childcare. This space will be home so every kid in this community has a safe place to go after school.”
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.