Monty, age 9, reacts to the $1 million check.BETHALTO - Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski presented the Boys and Girls Club of Bethalto with a $1 million check to build a new clubhouse.

On Wednesday, April 24, 2024, Budzinski toured the current Boys and Girls Club, located at 324 E Central Street in Bethalto, and spoke with club and community leaders. Nine-year-old Monty and 10-year-old Bella led the tour group, which included Bethalto Mayor Gary Bost and Kathleen Wilson, Senior Executive Director-Illinois Operations at the Boys and Girls Club of Bethalto.

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“My favorite part of my job is getting to go to communities and present you with resources to help you do even more good things,” Budzinski said. “You're already changing young people’s lives, and how rewarding that must be. For me to just be a small part in supporting your work, I’m really honored to do it.”

The money comes from $136.1 million of funding that Budzinski recently secured for the 13th Congressional District through the House of Representatives’ Community Project Funding process. Wilson explained that the $1 million going to the Boys and Girls Club will be used to build a new clubhouse, and she is “beyond excited” to get started on the new facility.

“We are out of space in our aging building and a new, state-of-the-art facility will allow us to serve more youth, become 100% accessible, and provide dedicated areas for STEM, cooking, and career development,” Wilson said. “It's going to allow us to build a new facility, expand our services and be more of a community resource.”

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Wilson noted that the current clubhouse welcomes seniors to play pickleball in the winter months, and children from Riverbend Headstart regularly utilize the building, as well. She hopes the new clubhouse will allow them to support more groups and organizations throughout the community.

They will also be able to accommodate more kids in their space, which means more students can come after school to take part in the club’s activities. The Boys and Girls Club provides afterschool programs for kids in elementary, middle and high school.

“That’s our goal,” Wilson said. “Changing lives, that’s what we do.”

For more information about the Boys and Girls Club of Bethalto, visit their official Facebook page.

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