Sheri Samson
Hawthorne Boys & Girls Club director Lyndsey Burall receives a check from Elks exalted ruler Kent Wofford for $2,500.

Hawthorne’s exalted ruler of the Elks Lodge, Kent Wofford, stopped by a busy room of children playing at the Boys & Girls Club, to present a check for $2,500 which was allocated from an established gratuity grant.

“When I found out the Boys and Girls Club were coming to Hawthorne last year, I had just learned about this Elk’s National Foundation grant program and I immediately knew we should apply for it. I asked Lyndsey (Burall), the director, for a wish list and she wrote down games they wanted and items that needed replacement. When we calculated it up, that’s amount we submitted and thankfully the grant money came through,” Wofford explained.

The children seemed to know what Wofford had arrived with, as several older club members shook his hand in thanks, while smaller kids hugged him. Burall was excited as she accepted the check that would allow new items to be purchased, which included learning tools, tablets for accepted programs to teach older club members, a new pool table and other specific games.

Following a photo-op the kids yelled out a “thank-you” in unison as Wofford smiled in appreciation to their gratefulness. As the children were all dressed up in the Boys & Girls Club field trip t-shirts, sponsored by Amerigas, Burall shared that the attendance was breaking records as the themed summer programs were rolling out.

“We can’t do as good a job without the community’s help, so this check will really help us out. I feel like the Boys & Girls Club is filling a place for our kids to fit in and find their way. There are so many ideas to roll out and so many more areas to plug into – I get excited about the way our club is being sponsored by so many local efforts,” Burall shared.

With a calendar on the wall stating Disney week was going on and in the weeks to come there would be themes such as Fun and Fitness, Rock Star and Under the Sea, it was easy to see why the club was growing in numbers and involvement. Burall also explained that expansion of the morning starting hours may be on the horizon as soon as more employees can be added.