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August 30--  The city of Vidalia is receiving a $500,000 grant to help build a new Boys and Girls Club building.

"That program touches so many lives and this money is going to give the Boys and Girls Club a new home and a new identity I hope in this community of one which reaches out to all children.  I hope we're going to see this program take off as a result of this new facility," says Vidalia city manager Bill Torrance.

The current location in the old J.D. Dickerson School on Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive has been in use since the club was started in Vidalia in the middle-1990's. The new building will be constructed on a four-acre site the city owns at the corner of Winona and Third Streets.

Raymond Turner, chairman of the club's board, says "It's going to be great for the city of Vidalia and the kids of Vidalia.  We will be able to provide better service and have a better facility."

The grant provides the lion's share of the funding, however, Turner says more money is coming from other sources.  "We're going to get about $75,000 from the national Boys and Girls Club, the local club will give about $50,000, the Sweet Onion Classic will help with $50,0000 and the city of Vidalia is helping with $25,000 and the land plus we'll have fund raisers going on, so we'll have the money there," he says.

Turner estimates it will take about 18 months to get the project completed.