A couple weeks ago, the Ukiah Daily Journal kicked off its annual spring fund drive for the Boys and Girls Club. I can’t begin to tell you how important this fundraising activity is to our entire community.
It was just a few years ago that the Boys and Girls Club almost closed because of a lack of funding; instead, because of community donations, hundreds of kids have a safe place to spend their afternoons and summer vacations. When you think about it, it’s hard to imagine anything more important than keeping our kids safe.
Children are most likely to be victims of crimes between 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM, after school when most adults are still at work. Without the Boys and Girls Club, finding a safe place for kids can be difficult and expensive. Today, more than 180 schoolchildren participate in the Boys and Girls Club afterschool program, and as you’d expect, paying for an operation like this requires tens of thousands of dollars.
This is where you can make all the difference.
For many years now, the Ukiah Daily Journal (UDJ) has teamed up with Retech Systems and the Ukiah Police Department to raise money. The UDJ generously sponsors a Boys and Girls Club Fund Drive with the goal of raising $45,000. As part of this effort, Retech donates an additional $10,000 and the Ukiah Police Department donates $15,000.
That adds up to a total of $70,000 to help run a year-round operation that protects hundreds of kids in our community.
A few years ago, UDJ editor KC Meadows said, “We do this each year because we believe the Ukiah Boys and Girls Club is critical to the health and well-being of our community’s children.” Here at the Ukiah Police Department, we couldn’t agree more. That’s why we have committed so many of our annual drug and gang prevention asset forfeiture dollars to help fund the Boys and Girls Club, and why I’m asking for you to join us in supporting such an essential community service.
KC Meadows said, “Many of these children would be latch-key kids, spending time alone at home—or worse, wandering the streets with nothing to do—if the Boys and Girls Club did not exist. Because being a Boys and Girls Club member is affordable for all children, the club depends on local community contributions to help it keep its doors open.”
Please help keep our kids safe by supporting the Boys and Girls Club of Ukiah. I really believe in the work they are doing. Not only will your contribution help keep kids safe, it will allow them to engage in fun, educational activities. To donate, make checks or money orders payable to “Ukiah Boys and Girls Club” and mail them to Ukiah Boys and Girls Club, P.O. Box 67, Ukiah, CA 95482, or drop them off at the Ukiah Daily Journal office at 617 S. State Street in Ukiah.
I also wanted to take a minute to tell you about this weekend’s Mendocino Human Race. This event includes a 5K walk or timed run on Saturday, May 6, starting at Alex R. Thomas Plaza at 9 AM. Early registration starts at 8 AM. The event is a collaborative community fundraiser that supports local charities and builds community awareness.
Prior to race day, local businesses and organizations form teams and collect donations in support of their favorite charity. On race day, the teams arrive, many in outrageous costumes, to either walk or run the 5k that winds through the streets of Ukiah.
This year’s route will start at the Alex Thomas Plaza, travel through our Westside neighborhoods to Todd Grove Park, and end back at the Plaza. If you’re out and about Saturday morning, please watch out for those racers!
As always, our mission at UPD is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have suggestions on how we can improve please feel free to call me. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cell phone and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website: www.ukiahpolice.com.