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Kroger gives $5K to Boys and Girls Club

Jan. 22, 2013 @ 09:50 PM

ROANOKE, Va. -- The Boys and Girls Club of Guyandotte has been awarded a $5,000 grant from Kroger's Mid-Atlantic Region.

Funds will be used to develop a basketball court at the Club, whose members are children from 6 to 18 years of age. More than 82 percent of the children in the Club are from needy families.

"After evaluating the grant application, we concluded that there is a tremendous need for health and recreational opportunities for the children in Guyandotte," said Allison McGee, spokesperson for Kroger's Mid-Atlantic Region, in a news release. "The Boys and Girls Club in Guyandotte has limited resources, so Kroger wanted to help the children have a safe, attractive place to get exercise and learn the benefits of physical fitness for a lifetime.

"One of Kroger's strategic philanthropic goals is to help children and their health and fitness, so this grant fits with our mission," added McGee. "We want to be part of solving issues in the communities we serve."

Kroger operates two stores in Huntington.

The Boys and Girls Club in Guyandotte relies completely on grants and donations to operate. The Club offers after-school programs, tutoring and recreational opportunities for members who are asked to pay $10 a year for dues. Approximately 500 children are members.

"We are so appreciative to Kroger for this outstanding gift which came as a complete surprise to us," said Dortha Williamson, executive director of the Guyandotte Club, which is part of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Huntington. "We are excited to have this additional court for a basketball program which includes approximately 1,000 boys and girls."

The court will be surfaced this spring.

The application for the grant was prepared by a Group Communications Class at Marshall University.

"This was the first grant application we have completed for the Boys and Girls Club of Guyandotte, so we are really pleased that Kroger funded it," said Barbara Tarter, professor. She recognized students Scott Beane, Marissa Leconte, Michael Riegel, Curry Wooldridge and Peter Bulat who worked on the application.

Kroger operates 123 stores in West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and the eastern portions of Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee from the Mid-Atlantic region headquarters in Roanoke.