Vergennes youth club takes swing at gift challenge

VERGENNES — The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Vergennes is no stranger to challenges, but is now looking to the community to help with a fund-raising challenge.
Over the past three years, the club has renovated its existing space in downtown Vergennes and according to club statistics experienced an upsurge in membership and begun serving much-needed meals to its members at the rate of 4,190 meals in the past year.
With more young people coming through the doors than ever before, providing much needed space became its latest challenge.
Then opportunity knocked when the former Tapestry Midwifery building in Vergennes went on the market. The Boys & Girls Club closed on the property, located at 20 Armory Lane, earlier this month, with help from two community members.
“The down payment of $100,000 for the new club was donated by local residents Roberta and Philip Puschel,” explained club board Chairman Jeff Fritz. “And now they have a new and challenging offer for our club to help the mortgage. If we can raise $87,500, the Puschels will match it dollar for dollar.”
Fritz said the club’s board is determined to meet this lofty goal.
“We’re about a third of the way to our goal at this point. The deadline is August 31st and the board’s working hard to meet the Puschel Challenge,” he said. “The Puschels deeply believe in the club’s work. We’ve never had such a generous offer at the Boys & Girls Club and we’re pulling out all stops to raise the funds now.”
Club Executive Director Jill Strube is overseeing the efforts to prepare, reconfigure and renovate the new space prior to the move, targeted for late summer. 
“We have been so appreciative of the past support we’ve received from the community. I hope that people will see the benefit of the tremendous work the club does to feed and mentor kids,” Strube said.
As Fritz pointed out, “A donation to the Puschel Challenge doubles its impact until Aug. 31. A contribution of any amount helps and is appreciated. I’m asking our community to help us by responding generously to our appeal.”
Club officials said it is easy to donate online via PayPal at bgcvergennes.org or by check to the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Vergennes, 55 School St., Vergennes, VT 05491. Questions may be directed to Strube at 802-877-6344.

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