The Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County together with Lakeside Wealth Management broke ground for the renovation and enhancement of the Duneland Club. This groundbreaking was held in celebration of a $4 million capital campaign which began two years ago, with the goal to purchase, renovate and expand their facilities with newer, more modern facilities.
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The groundbreaking was opened by Larry Moore, Board Chair of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County, who was happy to be able to welcome what he claimed to be a new generation for young children to take advantage and be a part of this new and innovative facility.
"Nine years ago we arrived in Duneland and set up shop at Methodist Church," said Moore. "We soon outgrew that facility, just as we have outgrown this one. We are effectively doubling the size of what we have and going to open it up for an entirely new generation of children to utilize."
Ryan Smiley, President of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Porter County was also present at the groundbreaking, expressing his happiness and excitement for this new portion of the club to finally begin construction.
"I can't tell you how happy I am to be here today," said Smiley. "We are here to celebrate the start of a building that is going to help children for years to come. This was created due to a need, a need that will become a game changer and a flagship center not only for Northwest Indiana but the rest of the Midwest as well."
This new addition is anticipated to feature state of the art facilities complete with numerous amenities such as a rock climbing wall and music recording studio that was designed from the ground up to be relevant to today's and tomorrow's youths.
Lakeside Wealth Management, one of the Boys and Girls Club's largest supporters during the duration of the project had President of Lakeside Wealth Management, Capital Campaign General Co-Chair and Board Vice Chair of Boys and Girls Clubs of Porter County Tim Rice give a heart warming statement during the opening ceremony.
"It's really mind numbing how many kids will be coming here, and this is possible due to so many giving their time and resources to make this happen," said Rice. "To all the children here today, I want you to know that you inspire me. Every time I come here to visit, I become motivated again to keep finding ways to make this such a great place to come to. We're doing it all for you. We care about you and we are prepared to do whatever it takes to support you."
The event concluded with a groundbreaking including both board members and some younger members of the organization who were happy to take part in what is set to become an even greater location designed to serve the youths of the Duneland community and beyond.
"Part of our value statement is giving our time, treasure and talent back to the community in which we live work and play and it's absolutely essential that we do that," said Rice. "It has a direct impact on our tight-knit employee culture that not only has us working hard for our clients but also giving back to the community. We have a five-year commitment to the Boys and Girls Clubs and we plan on continuing well after that."
Smiley was happy to have the assistance and guidance of Lakeside Wealth Management with them and was also optimistic about not only the future of the club, but for the children utilizing the club.
"Tim Rice has been on our board of directors for 7 years and has been instrumental in starting our organization in Chesterton many years ago," said Smiley. "The opportunity to give back to the community you live, work and play in is important. Our future is the children and every day we are providing thousands of opportunities for children and giving them the opportunity to do things in Chesterton that they never had."
Photos by Anna Hanson