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37th Boys & Girls Telethon underway tonight

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POSTED November 9, 2017 1:32 a.m.

Mark McCool  goes to work every day with the intent of making lives better for kids.
The Boys & Girls Club of Manteca-Lathrop director of operations along with a staff and facility made possible by the community’s support through such fundraisers as the telethon that conitnues tonight provide a safe haven, positive activities, and mentoring for 1,800 youth throughout the year.
Community support during the last 37 years has turned out endless success stories.
uHundreds of youth with the club’s homework assistance effort and life skills programs have become the first in their families to go onto college.
uCountless youth have stayed out of trouble after school and in the summer by accessing the club’s offerings.
uYouth from single parent families have benefitted from mentoring.
Each November the club relies on a telethon to provide the lion’s share of their operating budget. The $120,000 they hopefully will raise will enable the non-profit to continue offering programs for youth currently in Manteca and Lathrop. Community volunteers are make phone calls from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. today as well as throughout the month.
The club that serves youth 6 to 17 years of age has an annual membership fee for families that can afford it of $60 a year comes or $1.15 a week.  The $60 fee does not cover the cost of providing programs that come to a per member cost of $240 a year. The balance is covered by donations, fundraisers, and private sector grants.
The fee covers all offerings including karate lessons from longtime instructor Robin Taberna twice a week.
The club offers homework assistance, computers for doing school work, and various character building programs. It also offers a variety of recreation games, dance classes, sports leagues, arts classes, or simply a safe place to spend time with friends.
The club has stepped up its homework assistance and tutoring by securing volunteers with specific expertise in various subjects. Kids hit the computer lab to tackle school work before joining in other club activities that run the gamut from sports and arts to table games or just hanging around with friends.
The club works closely with members’ teachers and parents. They often have a representative at parent-teacher conferences so they can dial in on exactly what help a student needs. And in cases where there are single parent households and the parent can’t get off work, club volunteers will step in to meet with teachers.
Among the popular programs are the teen room, flag football in the fall, basketball in the winter, year-round karate lessons offered by Robin Taberna, and free music lessons.
During the summer, the club provides free breakfast and lunch to all kids — members and non-members — up to age 18. 
The club is closed Saturdays and Sundays.  
For more information, call the club at 239-KIDS.

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