Leahy: Awards To Vermont Boys & Girls Clubs Top $500,000

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Thursday that Vermont’s Boys & Girls Clubs are being awarded $500,350 to help fund activities and programs administered by the six clubs that operate in Vermont.  This latest round of awards brings the total for Vermont to over $8 million since 2005.  The Boys & Girls Clubs of America provides awards to state clubs using funding provided by the U.S. Department of Justice dedicated to youth mentoring.  This funding supplements the private contributions the clubs receive.  

“At a time when drug addiction and related crimes are posing tremendous challenges in our communities, these clubs are more important than ever,” said Leahy, a former prosecutor and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees the Justice Department.  “As Burlington Police Chief Michael Schirling puts it, the Boys & Girls Clubs act as ‘the glue in the neighborhood.’”

Leahy has long led in partnering with Vermont’s Boys & Girls Clubs and in championing federal support for the clubs.  In 2001 he successfully led a strong bipartisan coalition in Congress to restore funding for the clubs when federal support was threatened with elimination from the federal budget and has authored legislation renewing the federal partnership with the clubs.

Announcing the awards, Leahy stressed the need to continue support for the clubs in Vermont and nationwide, amid shifting federal budget priorities.  Leahy said he was grateful that Vermont’s funding held steady this year -- Vermont clubs received $500,000 in federal fiscal year 2012 -- but that a greater investment in youth mentoring programs is needed, particularly during difficult economic times.  Leahy pledged to work with members on both sides of the aisle to support funding for national youth mentoring programs.

Leahy continued:  “This funding is a direct investment in the future of these young people, in their communities, and in our future.  The Boys & Girls Clubs of Vermont and nationwide have done great work to ensure that young people have opportunities and options.  It is vitally important to offer the support they need to continue these programs.”  

The grant awards, broken down among the six clubs, include:

  • Boys & Girls Club of Burlington  -- $204,750
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of White River Valley -- $16,000
  • Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro -- $100,000
  • Boys & Girls Club of Rutland County -- $90,900
  • Washington County Youth Service Bureau/Boys & Girls Club -- $60,700
  • Boys & Girls Club of Greater Vergennes -- $28,000

Total: $500,350

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