After threatening to shut down last Friday, the Brownsville Boys & Girls Club’s future remains uncertain, pending a potential loan from the city and with several administrators resigning this week.
“The Boys & Girls Club is on life support,” said Lynn Anderson, president of the club board. “We’re going to do Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and if we don’t see anything by Friday to make the payroll then we’re going to have to shut down.”
Club officials announced an indefinite closure of the club Friday before a meeting with city officials led to an agreement to re-open the club with loan money
Al McClandon, regional service director for Rio Grande Valley, has been working with the Brownsville club from his San Antonio office, and will visit the area today to assess the situation.
He said the problems faced by Brownsville are not unusual for non-profit organizations.
“Funding is one of our main challenges, so pretty much it is a problem in most places but we find a way to work through it,” McClandon said. “There is always a cash flow problem when you talk about the number of kids versus the money coming in.”
To further complicate matters, executive director Lou Gracia informed board members she would resign when her contract ends on Aug. 1. She did not return calls by press time Tuesday.
“She’ll be there until August and they’ll put out a search to locate a replacement,” McClandon said, adding they were looking for people from other clubs. “But the most important thing is how you can work with people and energize them for the mission.”
Gracia isn’t the only one stepping down.
Of the club’s eight board members, treasurer Chris Inderidson, has resigned and member Dean Owens is expected to resign soon. Other board members may follow, according to Thirlwall.
“It seems that if they’re going to close the club, everybody is thinking about resigning and the financial responsibility is what everybody’s trying to avoid,” he said. “This past week several board members put in the money themselves.”
Before the city discussed loaning money to the club, board members had to use $4,000 of their personal money to cover employee wages.
Thirlwall said some people see the club as a lost cause and are ready to cut their losses.
“There’s no value that you can put on this for the children of the community but the people that wanted to close it down are just tired of fighting,” said Thirlwall, adding that funding changes over the last several years have led to the club’s financial dilemma.
Until today, I didn't know where Brownsville, Texas was exactly. I certainly didn't know it's the sixth fastest growing manufacturing region in the United States. But I do know that a nonprofit there is struggling to keep its head above water, and some are looking to cut their losses. Is there a philanthropist in the house?
After a cursory search, I couldn't find any foundations in Brownsville, TX (I found one in Brownsville, Wisconsin), but I did find seven foundations based in Corpus Christi (four hours north of Brownsville) that might be willing to help a nonprofit in the Brownsville area:
Coastal Bend Community Foundation
The Six Hundred Bldg.
600 Leopard St., Ste. 1716
Corpus Christi, TX 78473
Telephone: (361) 882-9745
FAX: (361) 882-2865
Contact: Ed Harte
Ed Rachal Foundation
500 N. Shoreline Blvd., Ste. 1002
Corpus Christi, TX 78471-1016
Telephone: (361) 881-9040
FAX: (361) 881-9885
Contact: Paul D. Altheide, C.E.O.
Earl C. Sams Foundation, Inc.
101 N. Shoreline Dr., Ste. 602
Corpus Christi, TX 78401
Telephone: (361) 888-6485
FAX: (361) 884-4241
Contact: Bruce S. Hawn, Pres.
Allen Lovelace Moore and Blanche Davis Moore Foundation
3765 S. Alameda, Ste. 416
Corpus Christi, TX 78411
Telephone: (361) 814-6700
Contact: Gary Leach, Dir.
Paul and Mary Haas Foundation
P.O. Box 2928
Corpus Christi, TX 78403-2928
Telephone: (361) 887-6955
FAX: (361) 883-5992
Contact: Karen L. Wesson, Admin. Dir.
4022 Lowman St.
Corpus Christi, TX 78411-3133
Contact: Jeannette Holloway, Pres.
Behmann Brothers Foundation
P.O. Box 271486
Corpus Christi, TX 78427-1486
Contact: Charles L. Kosarek, Jr., Pres.
Contact these seven foundations and tell them not to bail on the Brownsville Boys and Girls Club.
Boys & Girls Club of Brownsville Inc
1338 E 8th St
Brownsville, TX 78520
Telephone: (956) 546-4254