Friday, May 8, 2020

Break-in Won't Stop Summer Program at Boys and Girls Club

The Boys and Girls Club of Sequoyah County had just announced that they would be allowed to provide summer services in spite of COVID-19 one day before the Sallisaw location was broken into and vandalized.

Discovery of the break-in was made Thursday morning, according to club president Lindsie Dyer. The club was burglarized and vandalized some time Wednesday night, Dyer said.

"They took a television, Roku system, sound system, game systems and several other items," Dyer stated. A new garden tiller was also taken. The tiller was still in the box and had been purchased to use during the summer program for a student garden.

Dyer stated that the club had just made a supply trip and had a large amount of soda and snacks for the students that was either stolen or destroyed. "They poured pop all over the floors and made a huge mess. We had to bleach everything and clean it all up," Dyer said. 

Vandals had been "tagging" or spray painting in the area around the club prior to the break-in. Dyer stated that the organization would be installing security cameras in and around the club. 

The Sallisaw Police Dept. is investigating the incident

Dyer stated that the organization would welcome donations to help replace the items lost. Donations do not have to be new, just in good working condition. "Even if it's a used gaming system that someone's kids don't play with anymore, we can take that also," Dyer said. Cash donations to the organization would also be helpful.

Donations can be dropped off at the club's office at 208 S. Main Street. Anyone needing more information about donating can call 918-775-4659 after 8 a.m. Monday through Friday.

"This may set us back a little, but we will continue to do what we do best; serving the youth of Sequoyah County to the best of our ability, because this is where our hearts are," stated Laura Kuykenall, club director.

The club is still planning to hold their Summer Program with limited operations and enrollment. The program will follow federal, state and local regulations of groups of no more than 10 which will mean one teacher to nine students per room. This will limit enrollment to 54 children between the ages of 6-18. Normal summer enrollment would be approximately 150, Dyer stated.

Club officials stated that they will be doing all that they can to serve members of the community that need help the most. They will first accept applications for children of first responders, as well as from 2-parent households where both parents are working and from single-parent households where the parent is working.

The cost of the Summer Program is $150 per child for the summer.

On Tuesday, May 12th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Sallisaw site, numbered packets will be distributed to the first 54 children. Packets will also be handed out  to those who would like to be put on a waiting list in case the group ratios are increased at a later date.

"We may be able to take more children later on if the CDC guidelines change," Dyer said. "So we will have a waiting list."

The numbered packet along with proof of employment and payment must be returned to the club on Wednesday, May 13 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Failure to return the numbered packet at the assigned time complete along with proof of employment and payment will result in forfeiture of enrollment.

Non-numbered applications will also be taken on Wednesday, May 13 to be put on a waiting list.

KXMX  News Staff 

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