Jackie Robinson Boys and Girls Club purchases downtown Cairo location for expansion
CAIRO, Ga. (WALB) - The Jackie Robinson Boys and Girls Club will soon be getting a new facility in Downtown Cairo. The facility will nearly double its ability to serve kids in after-school and summer programs.
Charles Renaud is a board member of the Jackie Robinson Boys and Girls Club of Cairo-Grady County. Renaud said since their namesake is Jackie Robinson, the standards are higher and this is the first big step to get to that standard.
“Jackie Robinson brought change to the world. The least we can do is bring change to the kids that we serve,” Renaud said.
Right now, the Boys and Girls Club serves about 100-125 children in after-school and summer programs. Renaud and Chairwoman Donica Williams have had to turn away children.
“It’s Grady County’s future, so we need to invest in them,” Williams said.
The new facility will be able to expand to 160 plus kids. Jacourtney Broomfield has two elementary-aged kids and grew up in Cairo herself. She said balancing work and keeping her kids entertained is difficult.
“I need to get them in the program. So they can have more things to do instead of doing something they have no business doing,” Broomfield said.
The new location has a kitchen. It will allow them to feed children within the facility instead of getting deliveries. The new facility will also allow teens and children to be separated.
Renaud said teens grow from the program when they spend time with smaller kids. This will allow them to retain them.
“They want their own space and their own time. They have their own set of issues,” Renaud said.
The biggest part for them was the land. They plan to build another building on the same plot of land.
“We hope to be a regional center where people around Georgia and around Florida can come here to see what’s possible,” Renaud said.
The location is in the downtown district, which has grown in numbers in recent years. They are directly next to Davis Park. Williams is proud of being a part of what’s going on downtown.
“People say, ‘we’re just a small town,’ but we can do big things,” Williams said.
The initial building purchase was funded. They need money to make their expansion plans a reality. They are asking for donations to the club by writing a check out to Boys and Girls Club of Cairo and are also seeking a grant. There is no timetable for the opening of the facility. Williams said it will likely take years.
Copyright 2023 WALB. All rights reserved.