A good year is winding up better for two county youth clubs.
Not only will the Saticoy Boys & Girls Club celebrate its new permanent home with a grand opening Nov. 21, but the Oxnard Boys & Girls Club has been informed that Oxnard developer Martin "Bud" Smith has made a challenge gift of $500,000 to the association to build a new club in west Oxnard by 2000.
"He's challenging the community to match the half-million dollars," said Abe Oliveras, executive director of the Oxnard Boys & Girls Club. "It's the lead gift--the largest single donation our club has ever received."
Oliveras said 7,000 children live within three miles of the targeted site for the planned club on 5th Street near Ventura Road. Although there are after-school programs in west Oxnard, no permanent building exists.
Until September, Saticoy children had only a five-week summer Boys & Girls Club program in a park. It now has a permanent clubhouse in the Jose Flores building at 11168 Violeta St. in Saticoy. The grand opening will be at 3 p.m. Nov. 21, said Jane Goldschmidt, executive director of the three Ventura clubs.
"[Supervisor] Susan Lacey will be there for the ribbon-cutting, and we'll give tours and have refreshments," she said. "This wouldn't have been possible without the foresight of Susan Lacey and the start-up $50,000 grant from the Department of Justice.
"That was the first year's start-up money. Now, if we want to be open for more than a year, we'll have to raise the funds ourselves."
Youngsters ages 5 to 18 are welcome to become members.
"Membership in the Saticoy club is free the first year," Goldschmidt said. "It'll go to $12 in 1998. Scholarships are always available, of course."
Because 93% of the Saticoy club's membership is Latino "there will always be a bilingual staffer at the club," Goldschmidt said.
The building houses a game room, pool table, pingpong table, homework and arts and crafts area. The club schedules regular chaperoned outings to Saticoy Park two blocks away.