April was a great month for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula as the Soldotna Teen Center received $15,000 thousand dollar boost from the folks at Credit Union 1 and for the second year the Boys & Girls Clubs received a grant from Payless Shoes to get free shoes for members. “We got together and decided to hold an after-hours and silent auction as a Credit Union 1 membership appreciation event and everything that was raised that night was matched by Credit Union 1 and we had a very successful turnout that resulted in this $15,000 donation that we are able to present to the Soldotna Teen Center. We choose the Teen Center because we are big on supporting youth and education and the Teen Center is a perfect fit for our support,” said Erica Kemp, Credit Union 1 Soldotna branch manager. Sarah Middaugh also with Credit Union 1 added , “I grew up in the area and there was no place for me to go as a teenager so I really support what we have here for our teens now and think it’s really great that these kids are learning important social life skills here,” she said.
According to Tina Patterson, the Teen Center Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs the center has already grown to 57 members, “My goal is 100 but we are already booming and growing every day and this money will go toward needed supplies, art project equipment and the things the kids want here. We’re very grateful to Credit Union 1 for stepping up and helping us make this a place kids want to come to have fun and learn,” she said. Meanwhile, Heather Schloeman, executive director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula earlier in the week brought 30 some club members to the Payless Shoe Store at the Peninsula Center Mall for a free shoe shopping spree, “Through a national program of Boys & Girls Clubs of America we are given opportunities to partner with businesses such as Payless to apply for a grant and this year we were awarded 150 $20 gift cards. So we loaded our vans up with kids and brought them here to go shoe shopping. It take them long to realize they could get more than one pair of shoe for their $20 and one girl actually found four pairs for her 20 dollars. The kids really learned to shop and we are very grateful to Payless for giving our kids have the chance to come here and pick out their shoes,” she said. “I got some Air Walk shoes and they are supposed to make you feel like you’re walking on air and able to jump higher too,” said 8 –year-old Ky.