NLR Boys & Girls Club Faces Tough Financial Times

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR - The local Boys & Girls Club is facing tough financial times.

On Tuesday, the City of North Little Rock gave nonprofits a heads up that future funding will be minimal, or not at all.

While that means the club will need to tighten its belt, officials say they won't cut corners.

Well over 250 kids use the club each day, where the swimming pool is the popular place in the summer months.

"Without a care in the world, it's their place. It's a fun safe place that they can call their own," says Cindy Doramus, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Central Arkansas.

It's an outlet. A place to hang out with friends, swim indoors to stay out of the sweltering sun, and play games. But it takes money to keep the programs running.

On Tuesday, North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith said he can see the writing on the wall for 2015, and the city's budget will be very, very tight.

"I've spent a many a year on nonprofit boards and I know how tight their budgets are, so I didn't want them to get caught off guard. I wanted them to have plenty of time to anticipate that their funding from us is going to be cut short," Mayor Smith explains.

Doramus says she's thankful for the heads up and that the club is looking at ways to maintain programs during this stressful time.

"It could possibly be hours, fewer hours. Would hate to have to go up on membership," she says.

Doramus says money shouldn't be a factor, but focuses on keeping the doors open and kids moving in the right direction.

"You look at the headlines in the paper and it's funding being cut to nonprofits and Boys & Girls Club and the next day you look at jail overcrowding," says Doramus.

While administrators look for ways to save the day, Doramus says it will also take a village to add to the pool as well.

"We depend on community support," she says.

To help the North Little Rock Boys & Girls Club stay afloat and remain a foundation for kids in the community for years to come, just call the administrative offices at (501) 666-8816 and speak to Doramus.

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