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Boys and Girls Club hits fundraising goal

A weight lifted and jumps for joy came to the lower west side of Marietta on Tuesday.

“It was just a sigh of relief, honestly,” said Rebecca Johnson, executive director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Washington County.

The club’s Marietta location rests in the lower west side, at 307 Lancaster St., within the former Elston Lumber building.

The announcement?

Par Mar Oil Company and Par Mar Stores agreed to provide the final $350,000 necessary to complete the construction of the club’s new 8,323 square-foot gymnasium.

“With 13 convenience stores, three restaurants and its corporate headquarters located in Washington County, it was only natural to support the cause,” said Brian Waugh, president of the company, in a press release Tuesday. “The Boys and Girls Club of Washington County(‘s whole) mission is to provide a support system and a safe place for the youth of our community.”

The relief propels the momentum of the work of the club in an otherwise long year of challenges from coronavirus, to increased staffing, to recent snowstorms.

“It saves us from having to seek loans, to keep the cash flow in the positive,” explained Johnson. “We are still raising money and still have fundraisers earmarked for the gymnasium project … but this allows us to begin phase two right after phase one, when originally we were going to take some time off to fundraise between phase one and two.”

Johnson said Tuesday that watching a locally-owned business partner value signal also reiterated the community buy-in to the project which not only plans to provide multi-use play space for youth at the club, but also an additional community venue location after-hours.

“We still have to raise money for the stuff that goes in,” she said. “To buy appliances for the warming kitchen and for the laundry room. We also have to buy bleachers and sports equipment, tables, scoreboard, etc.”

Johnson explained that the investment of Par Mar compliments that of the Ohio Department of Health and Addiction Services ($500,000) and a $200,000 matching capital budget investment.

Sponsorship and additional local partnership is still ongoing.

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