By CONSTANCIO MARTINEZ, JR.
Special to the PRESS
The Laguna Madre Youth Center held a special meeting this past Thursday, October 31, with three vacant Board of Director seats being the highlight of the agenda. Margie Jacobs, James Baxter and Leah Gay Roustan, all Youth Club volunteers, were unanimously voted to join the Board of Directors. With fundraising a key part of the board’s duties, the extra help will come in handy.
The center attended the Shrimp Cookoff & Seafood Festival, on November 2, where they held a concession and informational booth. The club will be having another fundraiser on Saturday, November 16, by hosting a Mother-Son Dance. The event will take place at the Port Isabel Event & Cultural Center, with presale tickets going for $15 a person, and $20 at the door.
Donations and grants are also a crucial part in keeping the center going. The surrounding communities have come together to help: with the City of South Padre Island contributing $10,000; the Town of Laguna Vista contributing $5,000; and the City of Port Isabel paying for the utilities and insurance. The City of Port Isabel also handles the bookkeeping and maintenance of the Laguna Madre Youth Center building, at 190 Port Road.
Other major contributors include United Way, who provided a 2-year grant for the Math program, the Tijerina Foundation, who contributed $20,000, and the Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation, who provided a grant to pay for 40 member scholarships and the salaries of two staff members. Next Decade LNG has agreed to pay for the center’s Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. They will also be purchasing
Christmas gifts for all the center members.
In her report, Chief Operations Officer Marcela Hancock stated the center is repairing the gym’s roof leaks. The club is also looking to replace the gym floor with a new grant from the V.B. Legacy Foundation. Hancock says a new gym floor could give the center another opportunity to raise funds by renting the use of the gym.
The center plays a key role in the community by providing 600+ members afterschool programs, such as homework assistance, daily reading, sporting leagues, Garden Club and Arts & Crafts. For more information on the Laguna Madre Youth Center, call (956) 9436310.