2015-08-21 / Community

Rotary makes second van possible for club


From left, Rotary Club President Shirley Mooers, Rotary Club President Emeritus Jacob Hielscher, Boys & Girls Clubs’ South Portland Unit Director Raymond Ruby. (Courtesy photo) From left, Rotary Club President Shirley Mooers, Rotary Club President Emeritus Jacob Hielscher, Boys & Girls Clubs’ South Portland Unit Director Raymond Ruby. (Courtesy photo) The Rotary Club of South Portland Sunrise recently raised more than $20,000 to purchase a new 12-passenger van for Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine’s South Portland Clubhouse. In an effort to increase access for more kids and teens in South Portland to Boys & Girls Clubs, especially those who need club programming the most, the van is the second of the clubhouse’s fleet and a welcomed addition for the organization.

“We happily support Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine and its South Portland Club members,” said Rotary Club of South Portland Sunrise’s President Emeritus Jacob Hielscher. “Our Rotarian members worked hard to raise funds for this 12-passenger club van because we wanted to make a sustaining donation to an organization so important for our local community.”

Welch Sign in Scarborough donated the van wrapping, adapted from Boys & Girls Clubs of America, which makes it very bright and colorful when heading down the street to pick up club members.

This summer, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine’s South Portland Clubhouse has reached a high of 209 members in one day, with a daily average of 166 kids and teens. Program staff have seen more than 180 youth attend the club, and the number continues to rise. Last summer, the clubhouse served an average of 159 members a day.

Club-sponsored transportation is essential to the member experience and educational programming for all of Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine’s 2,700 members. Each of the clubs’ five locations have one 12-passenger van. With a second van now at the South Portland Clubhouse, program staff can transport more kids and teens to and from Redbank and Brick Hill housing communities in particular, as well as provide more experiential field trips and visits for more members every day.

“The second van allows our many South Portland Club members to explore more of their surroundings, as well as enable our organization to serve more youth in our communities,” said Karen MacDonald, COO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine.

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