By William Croyle
COVINGTON - The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati is used to receiving a $10,000 check each year from Congress.
That's why a federal check this year for $100,000, presented by U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., was a pleasant surprise.
"It's a very big deal," said BGCGC President Lawra Baumann. "In Northern Kentucky, it will allow us to offset costs in enhancing educational programs and offer other activities."
Bunning presented the check Monday at the Marge Schott-Unnewehr Boys & Girls Club in Covington, one of five locations in the area. The others are in Newport, Avondale, Lower Price Hill and Over-The-Rhine.
The money is part of an $80 million appropriation from Congress that is administered to Boys and Girls Clubs of America through the Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention.
The goal of the initiative is to increase membership by 1 million youngsters nationally. About 3.6 million youths are currently served annually, with nearly 7,000 of those in Greater Cincinnati.
"Far too many of our nation's youth never receive a real opportunity to succeed," said Bunning. "The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati helps fill this void with its youth development programming."
For $15 a year, the clubs offer youths 6-18 a place to go after school and during the summer. The Covington and Newport locations are open from 3-9 p.m. Monday through Friday during the school year.
Programs include tutoring, computer and reading help and substance abuse prevention.
The Kentucky locations also served more than 37,000 meals in 2002.
The BGCGC is supported through the United Way, donations and grants.
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