The Roundup -

Lonsdale United Methodist Church of Sidney and Boys and Girls Club of Richland County Enter Partnership

 

November 15, 2017

Lonsdale United Methodist Church of Sidney and Boys and Girls Club of Richland County are entering into an exciting partnership that will enable both organizations to better serve the people of Sidney and the MonDak region.

On Sunday, November 5, the congregation of Lonsdale Methodist Church unanimously passed a resolution to authorize the Board of Trustees to transfer ownership of the church building and land on Third Avenue SE and to sell the parsonage to Boys & Girls Club of Richland County. This transfer of ownership will allow the church and the Club to participate in a unique partnership that will mutually benefit each organization and its constituents.

Citing the pioneer spirit of Methodist founders John and Charles Wesley and Montana minister "Brother Van", the church sees this move as a way of living into its purpose statement: "Lonsdale Methodist Church exists so that our church family and community may know the love of God revealed by Jesus". The main building has served the church for over 90 years. This as an opportunity to practice the generosity and social concern the Methodists are known for. The church will be "right-sized" for the present congregation, which will continue to worship, learn and care for its membership while exploring what it means be to be a church that serves the community well today.

Boys & Girls Club will be conducting a renovation of the church building to best make use of the space for programming, create an energy efficient environment, and to best serve the needs of the youth of Richland County. Funds raised for the capital campaign will be used to complete this renovation with the hope that the facility will be ready to open the doors for programming in the Fall of 2018.

When renovations are complete, there will be classrooms, offices, programming areas and meeting areas that will be used exclusively by the Club to provide after-school and summer programming for over 250 youth of Richland County. Several areas of the church, including the fellowship hall/multi-purpose room, kitchen, and sanctuary will be shared space, used both by the Club and the church. The church will retain exclusive areas for storage and office space, and will use shared spaces at times when the Club is not in session for services, funerals, weddings, and meetings. Both groups see this as a shared mission and partnership to serve the community in new, innovative ways.

The next step for Boys & Girls Club will be to construct a full-sized gym and teen center. These two elements are integral pieces of programming and future growth for the organization and will fulfill critical needs to benefit not only Boys & Girls Club, but the entire community. We will rely on the continued support of our local community, supplemented by grant funding, to complete this second stage of the project, with an anticipated completion date of Fall of 2019.

The Club is extremely proud of the fact that approximately 75-80% of our funding is locally based-individuals, organizations and businesses. The national organization provides virtually no funding, although they do provide many other sources of support. Member fees contribute less than 10% of the funds necessary to operate the Club, an essential piece of the Boys & Girls Club philosophy. Our goal is to make our services available and reasonable for all families.

The Club wishes to express our appreciation to the foresight and community commitment of the Lonsdale leadership and members. In addition, the Club is eternally grateful to its founders, past and present board members, Sarah Sifers and Sara Berndt, and to the school district who has so graciously provided us with a home for the past 14 years. It truly takes a village to raise a child, and we are so grateful to all who have made it possible for us to play an integral role in that village. We would also like to express our deep gratitude to the outpouring of support from this community for the Club. We are truly blessed to be part of this wonderful community.

With the goal of serving more kids more often, Boys & Girls Club of Richland County would also like to announce that we are expanding and growing in yet another way. As of January 2018 we will be merging with Boys & Girls Club of Dawson County. Each Club will operate as its own unit under the new moniker of Boys & Girls Club of the MonDak Region. This expansion has been part of our strategic plan to develop into the premier youth-serving organization in our region. Merging the two Clubs together will provide the opportunity to share common expenses such as administration, accounting, staff training, and membership fees and to eliminate duplication of services in many other areas. In addition, the acquisition will allow both units to collaborate on such funding sources as grants. Our long-range plans include seeking opportunities to expand our presence throughout the region in areas not served by a Boys & Girls Club.

We ask for the community's continued support as we seek to provide Great Futures for the youth of our community-more kids, more often.

 

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