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Building on tradition
Nearing 100, DAR's goal is still keeping kids active
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Wednesday, October 23, 2013 7:00 PM
DAR Boys & Girls staff member Brett Borski, Menominee, (left) tries to block a shot Wednesday by Gavin Nerat, 10, Menominee, with Elijah Higgins, 10, Menominee, (back) at the DAR in Menominee.
MENOMINEE - In 2015, the DAR Boys & Girls Club in Menominee will celebrate its 100th anniversary. For most of those years the club was located in an old brick school house on 7th Street.
In 2004, the DAR Board of Directors decided to purchase the former Roosevelt School on 8th Avenue. After making renovations, the club moved in 2005. Now it looks like more work may need to be done soon.
"It's been a great change," said DAR program director Kory Denowski. "It was an older school, we're going to need to be looking at upgrading or improving the windows shortly to make it more energy efficient, but it's been a wonderful move over here, by far."
Community support has really never been a problem. The club was originally created to keep boys occupied, off the street and out of trouble. Over the years, new programs developed, new activities were added and girls were eventually allowed to join.
Today, the club offers a multitude of creative avenues to enhance the lives of youngsters. In addition to physical activity in the gym, there is a train club, robotics, arts & crafts, Ham radio station, daily homework help and programs designed for age-specific purposes.
"We're just about ready to start our Smart Moves program ... a prevention program for drugs and alcohol, which will start next week," said Denowski. This time around members in the first through third grade will have a chance to take part.
The action at the club doesn't all take place inside. Thanks to grants and community support, upgrades have been made to the club's playground over the past two years.
Although it may be for different reasons, parents and children alike enjoy the DAR. The kids, because of all the great things they get to do each day; and the parents, because the cost for a school year membership is just $20 per child.
What's even better is that the DAR offers members in both Menominee and Marinette an opportunity to go to the club after school each day by taking a bus. The cost is just $1.
Needless to say, keeping a membership of nearly 200 occupied can be quite a challenge. The club is currently looking for two staff positions - one at the front desk working the phones, doing clerical duties and computer work and the other running games and activities.
"We're looking for someone with a lot of energy, loves working with kids and who can work in a fast-paced environment," said Denowski. Neither job requires a college degree and it's only three hours a day, five days a week from 3 until 6 p.m.
The biggest reward won't come in a paycheck but will likely come from knowing you made a positive difference in a child's life. The club currently has six paid staff members and six volunteers - each one has gone through a background check and each one is only more than happy to talk about the merits of the club and the feeling they get from being part of the DAR Boys & Girls Club.
Upcoming DAR fundraisers
Dec. 5 - Brats for Breakfast
Jan. 1 - Yooper Plunge
On the web
The Dar was great I remember the boxers that came out of there Eric Sunstrom Ross Degayner Brian Beaudo and Coaches Burke Cooney , Neil Beaudo , Kass Sunstrom. I wish they would do a story where they are now with these guys.
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10/24/2013 2:53:00 AM
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