Boys and Girls Club makes east Lincoln push
DENVER – Shaun Newton made his latest pitch on April 24 to help the Boys and Girls Club of Lincoln County land in the Oaklawn School in Lincolnton.
Newton, the club unit director, spoke to the East Lincoln Republican Women hoping to gain their support in moving the Boys and Girls Club into the 87-year-old school.
The Boys and Girls Club needs to raise more than $500,000 to renovate a portion of the school before it can move in. Those funds will also go toward operating costs, Newton said.
Newton and other club members are seeking grants from organizations like the Timken Foundation and the Duke Energy Foundation, among others, to reach that goal.
The county also applied for a community development block grant after deciding that the area was suitable for a Boys and Girls Club.
“The Boys and Girls Club is where I had a voice, it was where I was able to come out of my shell and be a kid,” said Newton, who spent a portion of his early years at a Boys and Girls Club in Georgia. “The adults were caring, but firm. They acknowledged and patted you on the back when you did something good, but told you what was expected of you at all times.”
If approved for the grants – they’ll find out in September – Newton said he’s hoping to begin operation in the fall of 2013.
“I’ve worked with many Boys and Girls Clubs across the state, and I hope this is successful,” county commission candidate Cecelia Martin said. “I have memories of Oaklawn School being there early on in my life, and I hope it can be put to good use.”
Newton said they chose the Oaklawn School – originally built for black students – because of the close-knit community in the surrounding area. He eventually hopes to have three Boys and Girls Clubs in Lincoln County.
“We’ve wrestled with issues over that Oaklawn School for years, decades,” commissioner Carrol Mitchem said. “I think county government will do everything to see that this project gets fulfilled.”
For more information, call Newton at 704-240-7525.