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ECHO PARK : Open House for Boys and Girls Club

May 09, 1993|IRIS YOKOI

Supporters of the Boys and Girls Club of Echo Park have scheduled an open house June 12 to draw attention to the plight of the financially troubled club.

The Echo Park branch was slated for closure Dec. 31 because it had been a financial drain on the nonprofit Boys and Girls Clubs of Hollywood and Echo Park.

Although the Echo Park branch has provided a haven from violence and gang activity for about 1,000 youths a year since 1986, community members had not supported the club financially. Officials had to dip into funds earmarked for the Hollywood branch to come up with the $160,000 to $200,000 a year it takes to run the Echo Park club.

But in the wake of the closure announcement, donors contributed enough money to keep the club open at least through June.

The ARCO and Weingart foundations have donated $15,000 for a feasibility study and long-range plan to determine whether the Echo Park club could operate independently. Netzel Associates, a Culver City consulting firm, will conduct the study to gauge the extent to which community members are willing to contribute their time and money to the club.

If the consultants conclude the club can survive in Echo Park, they will suggest ways to form an independent board of directors, hire staff and promote the club, according to Tom Stretz, executive director of the Hollywood club.

The open house will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the club, 303 Patton St.

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