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Boys & Girls Club seeks members for board, council

Alison Penn Photo Tim Coughlin, CEO for the Sierra Blanca and Roswell Boys & Girls Clubs, answers questions from community members about joining the group’s governing board or the local advisory council.

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

The Roswell and Sierra Blanca Boys & Girls Club (BGC) last week hosted an informational meeting for community members interested in serving on its governing board or the respective local advisory councils.

Tim Coughlin, CEO for the Roswell and Sierra Blanca BGCs, explained the responsibilities involved and the difference between the board and the council with a PowerPoint presentation on Tuesday evening. Coughlin explained the advisory council would function similar to a parent-teacher association (PTA) — where supporting members can be selective on attendance and with how they contribute — while the board had formalized commitments.

Coughlin said the council and board are both designed with the intention of supporting the BGC mission statement to enable all youth, especially those in the most need, to be viable citizens of good character. Both will be responsible for assisting the club in discovering financial resources to help with club expenses. Members of both bodies will be ambassadors for the BGC.

Around 17 community members attended the meeting. Natasha Welt, the Roswell club’s unit director, said a few others were interested but could not make the meeting. Coughlin said the intention is to have the board and council established by the end of September. Interested community members can reach Coughlin or Welt for more information at 575-623-3196. The unit director for Ruidoso, Shawna Esquibel, can be contacted at 575-808-8338.

Coughlin said the teams from the Roswell and Ruidoso locations “work very well together,” and this model has been effective in other boys and girls clubs with multiple locations.

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The Roswell Boys & Girls Club merged operations with the Boys & Girls Club of Sierra Blanca in Ruidoso last October.

Renaming the Roswell location is one of the first considerations the local advisory council will face. Other considerations would be implementing sports and other programs based on the will of the council. Coughlin said both advisory councils will work to maintain the unique personalities of each location and community.

For the Roswell location, Coughlin said the number of children served increased from 24 to 53 last year.

Coughlin said each governing board member is required to make a $500 financial donation and must attend 80 percent of the meetings. He said meetings can be attended telephonically to allow flexibility between those who live in Chaves and Lincoln County. Potentially, Coughlin said meetings could also alternate between Roswell and Ruidoso. The board is limited to 25 members with three-year terms. He wants board members interested in the well being of both clubs.

The board also has the responsibilities of creating policies to determine the direction of the organization, maintaining financial responsibility for the club’s assets, reviewing and maintaining legality in all matters, and determining goals and objectives.

Coughlin said the club is seeking members with experience in law, finance, management, human resources and with other skill sets to contribute to the board.

“That’s what where looking for — people with influence, affluence or the ability to reach out to those that do,” Coughlin said.

Local advisory councils will work with their respective unit directors. The council’s responsibility is to assist the board in carrying out policies of the club, safeguarding assets in each location, and ensuring each facility is following legal criteria. Coughlin said each advisory council will also work to implement goals and objectives, periodically evaluate the club, and work together to make the club “bigger and better.” Members of the advisory council will also serve on committees and look into local fundraising and resource development.

There is no financial obligation or mandatory attendance for members of the advisory council.

Coughlin said program development is another piece of the puzzle the local advisory council can contribute by implementing new fundraising programs. He said the council generates ideas and connections within each community.

Welt said transportation is the Roswell club’s biggest challenge. Coughlin said the electric bill was $1,300 last month. Welt said the club needs another van — a new one costs $36,000 to $38,000 — to pick up kids from all over Roswell. The club just got one from United Way.

Welt said quotes for replacing lighting were $10,000 for the gym and $30,000 for other lights in the club.

Coughlin and Welt shared updates with various community partners from Eastside Little League, the City of Roswell, Target and more. On Saturday, Welt said other community partners (Wells Fargo, Pioneer Bank, Xcel Energy, United Way, and Albertson’s) will be painting the gym with paint donated by True Value in Ruidoso.

At the end of the meeting, the attendees asked questions and suggested other community resources.

City/RISD reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.