By Matthew Abrey
The Okanagan Boys and Girls Club will be getting some much-needed renovations to its gymnasium, thanks to the Toronto Blue Jays’ Jays Care Foundation and the Colin and Lois Pritchard Foundation.
“We’re so glad that we could help out this club,” said Jays Care Foundation executive director Robert Witche. “This year we’ve invested over a million and a half dollars across the country and I think we’ve had a project in nine out of ten provinces and one territory, so Jays Care is not just here in B.C., but also across the country.”
Diane Entwistle, CEO of the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club, has been involved with the organization since she moved to Kelowna in 1989, and was very excited by the news of the grant.
“There was an opportunity to apply for funding for our gym, which really desperately needed an overhaul,” said Entwistle. “It was built in the ‘80s, you couldn’t hear anything in it, and it was very well used, let’s say that.”
Improvements made to the gym included a climbing wall, a brand new floor and sound abatement measures.
“It’s been a fantastic project and we’re very thankful for the Jays,” said Entwistle.
Jays Care will impact more than 65,000 Canadian kids throughout the Blue Jays’ charitable arm’s various ventures across the country.
“What we consider Boys and Girls Clubs to be are community-based organizations where it really is the community coming together to make sure that we can do the work we want to do to help kids grow up well in our community,” said Entwistle.
“We believe that every kid has the potential to grow up well and to become the kind of adult that we know they can be, and achieve their potential, and these are the kind of stepping stones that kids need in their lives to get there.”
The Okanagan Boys and Girls Club has locations from Armstrong to Osoyoos, including three locations in Kelowna at 1633 Richter St. 1434 Graham St. and 355 Hartman Rd.