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tillerybg2July 9--  The Boys and Girls Club of Toombs County celebrated National Summer Learning Week Tuesday by giving a local group of supporters a tour of the Club on Third Street in Vidalia and by making State Senator Blake Tillery of Vidalia an honorary member.

The Executive Director of the Georgia Alliance of Boys and Girls Club, Kellie Brownlow of Atlanta, was also on hand, "What we focus on at Boys and Girls Clubs is academic achievement.  We want our kids to graduate from high school.  We want our kids to be prepared for post-secondary success whatever that may be, military, college, community college or straight into a career.  We have to give them the life skills to do that and we serve all youth, especially the ones who need us most.  Unfortunately, the number of kids who need us most is growing in Georgia and across the country."

Senator Tillery volunteered at the club when he was growing up and knows first-hand what it's doing, "This club provides a refuge where we can keep students on the straight and narrow to make sure our community is in a position to continue to grow.  It was so encouraging to see the seven students who led us around today, ages from nine to 14, who were so excited about this club.  Also, the folks who took their time today, the business leaders, to come out here and visit so the students could see people in the community who are successful and, hopefully, have some direction themselves in the future." 

The Georgia Alliance Director was impressed with community support of the local club and how the club is also supporting the community with its summer feeding program, "When you have this support from the community, in addition to the funding, you have this kitchen here and the Boys and Girls Club is serving the rest of the community.  It's all about partnerships.  You can't survive without sincere community support, the community has to own it, and what I saw today, the community owns it at every level."

The club has a membership of more than 250 members in Vidalia and Lyons and is inviting the public to its big fundraising event in August.  An adult prom with an 80's theme is being held at the Vidalia Community Center Saturday, August 17.  Tickets are available at the Altamaha, Ameris, Mount Vernon and Peoples Banks in Vidalia or at the club at 800 Third Street.

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