The enthusiasm Craig Eerkes feels for his community is unmistakable when he talks about the plan to build a new clubhouse in Kennewick for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Benton and Franklin Counties.
“This whole thing is to be proactive with kids,” Eerkes said, his voice filled with pride, and even awe, as he reflected on the swift and successful capital campaign which raised $3.6 million in nine weeks.
“The outpouring of support from the community is unbelievable. It’s unbelievable,” he said.
Following the advice of a consultant, the group opted to raise money quietly before announcing the construction project to the public.
Now, there’s less than $1 million remaining to reach the $4.3 million target to begin building.
Organizers of the Great Futures Tri-Cities campaign hope to close out fundraising before Oct. 20.
The groundbreaking for the new clubhouse in east Kennewick north of Park Middle School could be in the spring with the goal of opening the facility next fall.
The clubhouse would be located on land bought from the city of Kennewick. The roughly $100,000 purchase price was shared by a team of three business leaders, including Eerkes, Bill McCurley and Bill Lampson.
The land didn’t have infrastructure to access it at the time it was acquired.
Kennewick helped support the project by building roads and sidewalks.