BY TOM BUSSELBERG
FARMINGTON – This September’s Davis County Gala donated $40,000 toward a new Davis County Boys & Girls Club.
“We were thrilled with the total. It was a little more than we’ve been able to give to our supported charities in the past,” said County Commissioner Louenda Downs.
The gala traditionally supports a different charity, ranging from the Utah Alzheimer’s Association to Chloe’s Sunshine Playground for physically and emotionally disabled children going up in Syracuse. The playground was last year’s gala beneficiary.
“This will be a significant boon as they build a presence in Davis County,” Downs said.
The Davis/Weber Boys & Girls Club has several clubs in Roy and Ogden. In Davis County, it provides one staff member for an after-school program at North Davis Junior High School in Clearfield.
“We’ve received so much support from Davis County, from citizens, families, county commissioners, members of the gala committee, who all pulled together,” said Judy Kasten Bell, executive director of the Weber/Davis Boys & Girls Club.
Plans have been in the works for many years to open a club in Layton, where the current focus lies.
Negotiations are ongoing with the Davis School District to house the program at the old armory adjacent to Central Davis Junior High School.
However, if that doesn’t materialize, another location will be found, Kasten Bell said.
“We’re still in a fund raising situation,” the former Bountiful resident said. That means firm details on how many children can be served, what age group they’ll come from, and staffing are yet to be set.
Because Central Davis Junior adjoins the armory, should that location be made available, it would make sense to serve junior high school-aged youngsters and older, she said.
If all goes to plan, a program will start in January, Kasten Bell said.
“It was so cool,” said longtime supporter and club board member Val Stratford of the gala contribution.
“That helps us get a long way to start the Boys & Girls Club,” he said.
Downs has previously emphasized that it’s hoped the club’s influence and locations can eventually be expanded beyond Layton and North Davis.
There are needs all around the county, she has told the Clipper.