Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Troy Boys and Girls Club plans $2 million make-over; local businessman Scott Earl offers matching funds

Scott Earl hugs Troy Boys and Girls Club Executive
Director Sharon Smith after meeting with club officials
about a matching gift to completely refurbish the
organization's building in downtown Troy.

In the midst of reports from a local double murder trial and the usual other bad news of the day, it was gratifying to be present yesterday when Scott Earl sat down, reviewed architect plans and cost estimates to completely renovate the Troy Boys and Girls Club in downtown Troy, and opened up his checkbook to offer the club a matching gift to fund the project.

It was an extraordinary gesture by a man who was simply moved to tears on a previous visit by the condition of the club, and the desire to ensure youth have a better facility for generations to come.

The club's board and executive director Sharon Smith now have to set to work to reach out to the community at large to solicit donations to fully fund the estimated $2 million renovation (full disclosure: I am a member of the Troy Boys and Girls Club board). Construction won't be delayed however; Earl, who recently sold a company he founded, County Waste, is providing immediate funds to renovate the first floor this summer while the club's youth are transported daily to its Camp Barker. Phase 1 is expected to be complete by early/mid-September.

This gift was made possible by the board's vice president Dan Crawley, who invited Earl for a club tour earlier this spring.

The timing coincides with an effort by The Record, Camps4Kids, to fund scholarships for youth wishing to attend Camp Baker. The newspaper started Camps4Kids last summer as a spin-off of its long-standing winter Clothe A Child effort. Fundraising for the scholarships begins later this month.

For more on the story, see link 1 and link 2.

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