Help Needed for Boys & Girls Club Shut Down by New Year's Day Fire

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Kids and families in Ferndale, Washington, need help at the beginning of this new year. The Boys & Girls Club in their community had to shut its doors after a New Year's Day fire caused extensive damage to the building. About 100 kids who use the Ferndale club before and after school are displaced.

Kids and families in Ferndale, Washington, need an outpouring of help at the beginning of this new year. The Boys & Girls Club in their community had to shut its doors after a New Year's Day fire caused extensive damage to the building.

The Ferndale Boys & Girls Club is the second largest Boys & Girls Club in Whatcom County, located between Seattle, WA, and Vancouver, B.C., serving more than 1,400 kids. About 70 to 100 kids come to the club before and after school.The Club is the number one youth-serving agency in Whatcom County, offering programs in health, life skills, art, technology, athletics and character and leadership development.

The fire, which officials believe started because of an electrical problem, began in the northwest corner of the building and burned about a third of the facility, causing about $150,000 in damage. The remainder of the building is unusable because of smoke damage.

"This is a very tough way for families to begin the new year. These families rely on the before-and-after school care we provide," says Ferndale Boys & Girls Club Board President Steve Oliver. "The Ferndale Boys & Girls Club gives working parents peace of mind knowing that their kids are involved in safe, supervised activities, receiving healthy snacks and not wandering the streets or home alone. It may be some time before the club will see any insurance funds as a result of the fire."

Key Bank has set up a relief fund. "It would be a great help if people could donate money to help us out, no matter the amount," Oliver said. For those interested in donating, checks can be made payable to:

Boys & Girls Club of Ferndale Fire Relief Fund

Key Bank

P.O. Box 1027

Ferndale, WA 98248

People can also make a donation at any branch of Key Bank or visit the Boys & Girls Club website at http://www.whatcomclubs.org/.

About The Boys and Girls Club of Whatcom County

Annually the Club serves 1,400 children in the Greater Ferndale community. Thirty nine percent of those children come from economically disadvantaged homes and 30 percent live in single parent homes. The Club is the number one youth-serving agency in Whatcom county, offering programs in health, life skills, art, technology, athletics and character and leadership development.

Media Contact:

Josh Wilund

360.410.0054

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