Director tells the Lions about city Boys and Girls Club history

VERGENNES — Mike Reiderer, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vergennes, spoke to the Vergennes Lions recently about the growth of the club during the past 17 years, 12 of them in its current location.
Reiderer spoke about the improvements going on, including adding a kitchen and better bathroom facilities with a shower as well as a laundry. He mentioned how the landlord was putting in new ceilings and lighting. Reiderer said that for years, club directors had a feeling that what they had was “good enough.” Finally, they decided that “good enough” was not good enough.
Reiderer said that when he started as director, the poverty level of the youth attending was about 30 percent; now it is 50 percent. There are currently 116 members of the club with an average daily attendance of 20.
Each year the club is evaluated by the national Boys and Girls Clubs of America organization on a number of key areas. The Vergennes club consistently meets or exceed 11 of the 13 areas. Reiderer is hoping some of the planned improvements will help the club meet the final two areas, one of which is outside activity. 
Reiderer also introduced the Lions to Jessica Francese who has recently been hired as program director. He sees her helping to meet the club’s mission “to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.”
After the talk, Vergennes Lions President Chuck Burkins presented Reiderer with a check for the Boys and Girls Club in the amount of $500.
In recent weeks, the Vergennes Lions have also donated $500 to the Vermont Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired, and $1,000 to the Bixby Library in Vergennes.
Tickets for the Lions’ annual vehicle raffle are now being sold, and further planning for the Memorial Day activities are under way. In addition, July 13 is the date for the annual Vergennes Lions Charity Auction; members are starting to look for auction items.

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