Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County broke ground on the new DeSoto Club on June 1. Campaign donors, volunteers, staff, state and local officials, as well as members of the design-build team were on hand to witness the ceremony, which took place where the heart of the new Club will be located, adjacent to the current site at the corner of 34th Street West and 53rd Avenue West in Bradenton. The campaign goal of $7.5 million includes building the new Club and providing an endowment to sustain operations. To date, more than $7.1 million has been raised, giving the organization the necessary funds to begin construction of the 37,477 square foot facility.
“This is an exciting day, both as a former Club kid and the Chairman of the Invest in Kids Campaign,” said local attorney Caleb Grimes. “There is a real sense of pride knowing that everyone who passes by and every member who attends the current Club will see the progress of the new facility. It’s a symbol of the commitment that our community and Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County has to our youth.”
Construction will begin in two weeks, with completion slated for summer 2019, according to Dawn Stanhope, President & CEO of the organization. Plans include a teen center with a separate entrance, a sports/flex field, a commercial kitchen and other dedicated spaces that focus on academics, character & citizenship, and healthy lifestyles programming.
“Our members have been so excited,” said Stanhope, “but when they see the construction actually taking place and the daily progress, their anticipation level is going to sky rocket. They are finally getting the Club they deserve thanks to the generosity of so many.”
The new Club will have the capacity to serve 600 kids, more than double the amount served today. The 50 year old facility will continue to operate until the new Club is ready.
For more information about the Invest in Kids Campaign click here.

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