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MANATEE GIVES BACK: Boys & Girls Clubs

New bus needed for Boys & Girls

Organization: The Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County serves more than 3,500 children at five locations with programs focusing on character and leadership development; sports, fitness and recreation; education and career development; arts; and health and life skills.

Its mission: To enable all young people, especially those who need it most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

One specific need: A new bus to help serve more children. “Right now we have three buses that are really old,” said Jacquie Valentine, marketing and events manager. “We need to add another one to our fleet.” The clubs pick up kids ranging in age from 6 to 17 from 32 schools every day throughout Manatee County.

Why it’s important: “The kids we would pick up in that new bus are those not currently being served,” Valentine said. “We strive every day to reach more children and be a positive influence in their lives.” The new bus would help take kids to the five area clubs for a variety of programs -- from help with school work to prevention programs to athletics.

How can you help: A new bus costs about $43,000 and only $5,000 remains to be raised. Help by chipping in -- call with credit card information or mail a check. Phone: (941) 761-2582. Address: Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee, P.O. Box 280, Bradenton FL 34206.

-- Herald Night Metro Editor Brent Conklin

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