There’s a new club coming to Buford and it’s just for kids!
The Boys & Girls Club of Buford, part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier, will open for an eight-week summer camp this May in its temporary home at the First Baptist Church of Buford on Hamilton Mill Road.
The Boys & Girls Club of Buford has been in the works for about a year after two local residents identified a need in the Buford community. Margaret Jones and Juli Adamson started a nonprofit organization called Sharing Buford Spirit in 2019, with a mission to share the loving and giving spirit of the Buford community with children in need by providing spirit wear, dress code clothes and other essential items.
“We quickly learned the need was much greater than what we were providing and there were students in our community who needed care outside of the school day,” Jones says. “There are students who need extra support after school and during the summer, that will give them academic enrichment and mentorship in a safe and positive environment.”
Jones and Adamson began to consider how they could help meet the needs they saw firsthand.
“As we thought of ways to accomplish this for our community, we immediately were drawn to the Boys & Girls Club and their proven track record of helping children reach their full potential,” Jones says.
She and Adamson contacted the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier, which began working with community members, the city government and local schools.
“Everybody was on board and very, very excited about the possibility of bringing a club to the Buford area,” says Joyce Wilson, chief development officer for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier.
“While Buford students receive top-notch education and support during the day throughout the school year, we saw that there was a bridge that needed to be built by the community to assist these children in the afternoon and summertime,” Jones says.
As momentum began to grow, the next step was raising money. Wilson says the cost to operate a Club for one year with 100 children attending is about $470,000, which includes an after-school program with snacks, tutoring facilitated by certified teachers and academic enrichment, as well as a full-day summer camp with breakfast and lunch and field trips.
As of mid-March, close to $250,000 had been raised to start the Boys & Girls Club of Buford. Additional funds were raised during the Denim and Diamonds for Kids fundraiser that was attended by 200-plus guests and featured live music by country singer Seth Michaels on March 23 at the Bona Allen Event Center in Buford.
In breaking down the cost per child, the Club is asking donors to contribute to The Buford 100 — a donation of $4,700 allows one child to attend the Club for a year. Every individual, business or organization that sponsors a child for a year will have their name added to signage in the temporary Club location and later in the permanent place the Club calls home.
“We are hopeful that by investing in young people we will help to shape the future generations in our great community,” Jones says.
Families interested in the Club’s summer program can submit a request for information online here.
FEATURED PHOTO: Juli Adamson, left, and Margaret Jones, right, speak during the Boys & Girls Club of Buford’s Denim and Diamonds for Kids fundraiser on March 23, 2023, at the Bona Allen Event Center in Buford. Photo courtesy of Boys & Girls Club of Lanier.