Boys and Girls Club buy good for community

Brad Somers’ enthusiasm couldn’t be contained recently when speaking to the Alpena Rotary Club.

Like a child visiting the North Pole at Christmas, the executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Alpena shared with Rotary members that he was “ecstatic” to announce the club’s purchase of East Campus from the Word of Life Baptist Church.

The sale just had been completed three days prior, Somers said, and it was a dream realized for the youth of the community.

“We’re outgrowing our current building, so we’ll be able to serve more youth in the area,” Somers said in a recent newspaper story on the sale.

Anyone who has visited the current facility knows the challenges the club faced there. Literally, a student could drop a container of marbles on the floor and they would all roll into the same exact corner of the floor 100 times out of 100 attempts, he said, explaining one of the structure’s foundational problems.

The new home, he shared, will allow for the club to expand programming and provide members with more services and space, such as a teen center. The square footage significantly is a bigger footprint for the club to move into and grow.

The move won’t occur tomorrow. Somers said there still needs to be a fundraising campaign and some renovations are needed at East Campus. He expects it won’t be until the beginning of 2021 that the club actually makes the move.

That’s OK, he explained, since the current facility can meet the needs for another 12 months or so.

The sale is great news for our community and will continue East Campus’ role as an important facility for area youth. It is a win-win for everyone.



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