The Boys and Girls Club of La Crosse is celebrating
its 50th anniversary today.
It's also celebrating the grand opening of the newly
renovated Terry Erickson Club.
News 8's Sarah Thamer is at the Terry Erickson Club
in La Crosse and brings us the story.
The 75-hundred square foot addition to the original
building includes a variety of new features for teens.
From a dance and music studio.
to a lounging and game area.
the facility's expansion made room for more kids and
teens in our area.
The boys and girls club on La Crosse's north side
received a facelift that will change the way kids
and teens spend their time after school.
The number of kids in our community that have needs
is greater than we ever saw in this community 30 years
ago has increased.
Which means it was time to create a bigger space for
kids and teens in La Crosse.
To provide a place for them where they can come, get
their homework done, they can play basketball, they
can play pool, they can watch movies, we have gaming
but the most important thing we have here are just
the people, we've got an unbelievable staff that makes
just impactful connections with these kids.
Today, over 25 percent of La Crosse Residents live
in poverty, an 8 percent increase from 16 years ago.
Which means the needs of youth in La Crosse are also
And with a new facility, staff members are hoping
to meet those needs.
Our greatest hope is that we can serve all the kids
that need us most in this community.
So being so close to the high school and the middle
school we're just hoping that with a teen center that
is very attractive to the teen population, that they
will come here and receive the positive environment
the positive role models, everything that we have
to offer and in the end it betters our comminity because
it's helping their future and it's helping our future
here in La Crosse.
Completed and ready to be used, project leaders are
now aiming for an even bigger change.
There are homeless kids that come here, wouldnt it
be nice if we could just wipe all of that out?
7-million dollars was invested in the project and
all donations came from the community.
Reporting live in La Crosse, Sarah Thamer, News 8.
Tomorrow the Boys and Girls Club will hold an event
for the kids to celebrate 50 years and the opening
of the new facility.