The Boys and Girls Clubs of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County re places for kids to go after school to have fun and become empowered to do better.
"It's like a positive learning center and you have a lot of friends here," says club member Brayden Smith.
Executive Director Todd Bale says it's positivity that's important.
"At the end of the day, it's all about the kids," says Bale.
He will be leaving the Boys and Girls Clubs at the end of June to take a job with another Boys and Girls Club in Tennessee.
Bale will be remembered by people in the Valley for helping the clubs survive some difficult financial years.
"We went through some big cuts from our local city, state, federal funding sources. Todd has worked hard to find us additional funding sources," says Dixie Garber, president-elect for the B&G Club.
Bale adds, "We raised $249,000 last year in our campaign, and exceeded the budget. This year we're at $170,000 and we've got about six weeks to go. "
Last June, club members raised $17,000 to save the Elkton Boys and Girls Club from shutting down.
Last May, two local after school and summer programs at Pleasant View and Mountain View elementary schools had to close due to a lack of funding.
"He has really helped us turn around from a bleak part of our history, and really moved us forward in a very positive direction. He came in at a rough time and leaves us in a much better position," explains Garber.
Bale says, though there have been some financial difficulties, he credits dedicated board members and staff.
"It's all about getting the right people in the right positions, and we have that now to serve the kids," adds Bale.
"They helped me go out and want to try out for sports at my school, want to be smart, just stuff that will help me prepare myself for the future," says club member Tayjia Keener.
"Regardless of who your parents are or where you live, what your background is, or what your socio-economic status is, you come here, you find hope and opportunity. That's what it's about," comments Bale.
According to Garber, board members have already begun to form a search committee to find a replacement for Bale.
Members will consider an interim executive director, if the search lasts longer than anticipated.
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