Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha Awarded at the BGC Wisconsin Area Council Meeting for Marketing & Programming
Kenosha, WI – May 1, 2017 – The Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha was honored to win two key awards at the Annual Boys & Girls Club of Wisconsin Area Council Meeting held at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI on Monday, March 13th. Clubs throughout the State of Wisconsin were invited to submit proposals highlighting their outstanding achievements during 2016. The Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha highlighted the successful marketing campaign of Gus the Bus and the successful Be Great: Participate, Lincoln Park Summer Outpost program.
The criteria for the Wisconsin Area Council was to demonstrate impact, provide a best practice for other clubs to try to emulate and demonstrate successful implementation. The Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha was able to show impact through the increased number of youth being severed on a daily basis through Gus the Bus, proof that a community can come together to help find solutions to problems and to be able to provide more children a safe place to be during out of school hours.
After surveying parents of current, former and non-members to learn about what barriers existed or prevented their child from joining the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha or attending our club, 70% of the response came back with the fact that they lacked a way to get their child to the club after school. Something had to be done! This is how the Gus the Bus Transportation Campaign got rolling. A community giving campaign was created with goals to inform Kenosha of the need, make the community aware of the campaign goals and ask them to get behind the initiative with a donation. Gus the Bus went from being a concept to getting its own logo. An entire Gus the Bus marketing campaign was formed with the creation of the donation landing page (GusTheBus.org) featuring a fundraising thermometer, flyers, posters, e-mail blasts, canister campaign, social media posts, Gus the Bus t-shirts and a selfie-frame.
Since the start of the campaign, Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha received a third bus donated by Palmen Motors, removed the $10 transportation fee, hired two part time youth center staff members and has hired bus drivers. Gus the Bus makes eight stops to six local elementary schools providing transportation Monday through Friday. The support of this program from Kenosha County, Palmen Motors, local churches, individual donors and press coverage from the Kenosha News has been instrumental. Average daily attendance has nearly doubled in the youth and teen centers. Youth Center average daily attendance from September 1-December 31, 2015 was 53. The average Youth Center daily attendance from September 1- December 31, 2016 was 105. In the Teen Center, average daily attendance went from 13 in 2015 to 20 in 2016.
The need for the Lincoln Park Outpost Program was identified by concerned community members and facilitated by the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha during the summer of 2016. This program provided a safe place with positive programming to over 215 youth during the 11-week program. Several community organizations and volunteers were on hand each day working with Boys & Girls Club staff to implement programs and mentor youth.
A membership to the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha is $20 per year or $0.11 per day. The cost provides members with various opportunities including but not limited to homework help, quality educational programming, mentoring and healthy dinners. For youth participating in sports leagues through the Boys & Girls Club, the membership fee is included in the registration fee.
The Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha is a youth guidance organization dedicated to promoting health, social, educational, vocational, cultural, character and leadership development. The club helps youth improve their lives by building skills, values and self-esteem. Celebrating 25 years serving youth in Kenosha, the club has launched the “$25 for 25 more years” campaign, with proceeds from the fundraiser going to support expansion of free transportation to three additional elementary schools. Those interested in making a donation can visit www.BGCK25for25.org.