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Telethon key to Boys & Girls Club helping 1,800 youth
Event Nov. 6-9 provides funds for programs for 1,800 youth
Boys & Girls Club Teen Coordinator Lisa El Sao talks with club member Josh Pfeifer about upcoming teen events inside the clubhouses teen room. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

The Boys & Girls Club of Manteca-Lathrop has been relying on community support for 37 years to provide a safe haven for kids.
That support has turned out endless success stories.
uDozens of youth with the club’s homework assistance effort and life skills programs have become the first in their families to go onto college.
Countless youth have stayed out of trouble after school and in the summer by accessing the club’s offerings.
Youth 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 between Monday, Nov. 6, and Thursday, Nov. 9, will enable the nonprofit to continue offering programs for 1,800 youth currently in Manteca and Lathrop.
The telethon effort relies on community volunteers — groups and individuals — to make phone calls. The club still is in the need of volunteers Monday through Thursday of that week from 2 to 4 p.m. as well as Monday, Nov. 6, Wednesday, Nov. 8, and Thursday, Nov. 9, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Those who can help are asked to contact the club Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. by calling 23-KIDS.
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.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email