Deana Conde Garza, the new executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Williams Lake, plans to lead the club into a year of growth and improvement for all their services. (Photo by Patrick Davies)

Deana Conde Garza, the new executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Williams Lake, plans to lead the club into a year of growth and improvement for all their services. (Photo by Patrick Davies)

New year brings a new vision for Boys and Girls Club

Expansion and utilization of their programs and resources is this year’s goal

The Boys and Girls Club of Williams Lake plans to come back stronger than ever in 2019.

Executive director Deana Conde Garza is really excited to bring her vision for the Boys and Girls Club to life in 2019. Garza said she found her first few months challenging as she had to adapt to a new town while gaining control of the organization.

The Boys and Girls Club saw a lot of changes and turbulent times last year, but Garza said she and her team are now ready to deliver changes the organization needs. Garza added that at their AGM in December all five of the current board members agreed to stay on for the next year.

“I’ve just been speaking to all the community partners and finding out what has been lacking in the community from the Boys and Girls Club in the past and I’m looking to fill that void,” Garza said.

For Garza, her primary goals for 2019 are to enhance the current programs and services in place while creating and expanding new ones. Their current after-school program, for example, is one such program Garza considers successful but believes could be far more successful.

Read More: Boys and Girls Club Street Party to showcase the organization

Garza is actively recruiting new kids into that program to expand it beyond 21 kids by summertime. Registration for the program’s summer activities open at the end of January and Garza proudly declared they already have all their summer activities planned out.

The program will also have four youth leaders in 2019 and one of their number will soon have a class four driver’s license, giving the program more mobility than its had in the past.

The Noopa Youth Group, for those aged 13 to 18, will also be seeing an expansion this summer. Rather than just being open Monday to Thursday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Fridays from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., it will be open for the whole day on Spring Break and over the summer holidays.

They will also be open for kids aged 9 to 12, as Garza wishes to get youth involved in the Boys and Girls Club at a younger age. This new program will be available as a trial run for Spring Break this year on a registration/drop-in basis.

“We’re hoping to set up the office for birthday parties coming this spring,” Garza stated. “Sundays we’ll be open for people in the community to rent our location for birthday parties if they wish and we’ll probably supply a couple of youth to help out with that.”

They’re also looking at making Saturdays an open-ended event day where anything from crafts, movie-jam or an open-mic night could take place. The main thing Garza hopes to do is utilize their space to its fullest potential.

With 2019 being their 25th year of operation coming in May, Garza said she hopes to turn the Boys and Girls Club into a “revolving door” of events, activities and programs for the community to enjoy.

In addition, she hopes to bring the club back to its founding ideals, which were recreational based.

“I think it’s just getting more kids in the community involved in the club. What I’ve found since I’ve been here, is that lot of people don’t know about it, even if they’ve lived here their whole life,” Garza said. “That’s our goal — getting out there and trying to get people to know exactly what the Boys and Girls Club does.”

Read More: Boys and Girls Club ready to delight with Tim Burton-themed haunted house

While she does want to gravitate more towards activities for kids, she said they will continue to offer free clothes, a washer and dryer and dinner every night for those kids who need them. Under Garza, the Williams Lake Boys and Girls Club will remain a safe place for kids to go.

New projects meanwhile continue to “come down the pipeline” including an anime club and other exciting activities for kids to take part in.

“It’s a great place to be, we’d really like the extra help of everybody in the community to help the Boys and Girls Club to possibly what it used to be and get it really hopping. Our goal is to have kids in and out of the club all day long.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Yunesit'in Government in partnership with the BC Wildfire Service will be conducting a prescribed burn seven kilometres west of the community and 25 kilometres south of Alexis Creek on the south side of the Chilcotin River. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Prescribed burning planned to reduce wildfire risk near Yunesit’in

Burning may begin as early as April 13 in partnership with BC Wildfire Service

An aerial view of the Williams Lake Stockyards taken during a flyover in 2020. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake Bull Show and Sale in its 84th year

This year’s sale will be online and in person

B.C. Cattlemen’s Association general manager Kevin Boon. (B.C. Cattlemen’s Association photo)
COVID, BSE, water access and private land rights: B.C. Cattlemen’s general manager weighs in

Kevin Boon said positive aspect of pandemic is more people interested in where their food comes from

Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society communications officer Brianna van de Wijngaard reflects on World Water Day March 22. (Photo submitted)
DOWN TO EARTH: World Water Day means something different for everyone

This year’s World Water Day theme was Valuing Water

Williams Lake Cycling Club president Shawn Lewis (from left), Jeremy Stoward of New Path Forestry, WLCC Boitanio Bike Park director Andrew Hutchinson accept a cheque from Williams Lake and District Credit Union investment specialist Abigail King. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake Cycling Club gets bike park donation to bolster upgrades, maintenance

Plans are to complete three rideable lines each year, he added

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)
Tenants disappear in the night leaving Okanagan home trashed with junk, feces

Spallumcheen rental rooms filled with junk, human and animal feces; landlord scared to rent again

Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

2019 report shows Canada emitted about one million tonnes more of these gases than the previous year

Most Read