LACONIA — The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Concord and the Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region have announced a merger and a have adopted a new name, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central New Hampshire. The newly combined organization provides after school enrichment programs, summer day camps and recreational basketball to over 600 youth each week at eight sites in Concord, Franklin, Hopkinton, Laconia, Suncook and Warner.
Executive and administrative offices will be headquartered in Concord according to Chris Emond, executive director of the Greater Concord Club. He said that the decision to merge was driven primarily by the efficiencies of scale that a centralized administration can offer, which will, in turn, help the clubs to deliver stronger youth development programming at a lower overall cost.
The plans to merge were announced last November and at the merger agreement included a provision that the property of the Laconia club, the former St. James Episcopal Church complex off North Main Street, will be "preserved in perpetuity of the benefit of the children of the Lakes Region". Emond explained at that time that the provision ensures that the merged entity cannot sell the property and, if for any reason, it were to be sold, will provide that the proceeds be placed in an endowment or trust for the purpose of serving the children of the Lakes Region.
The agreement provides that the clubs will continue to operate under their own boards of directors and programming personnel. Likewise, the two clubs will maintain their fundraising programs, so that money raised in the Lakes Region will be put to work in the Lakes Region. When the intent to merge was announced last fall, Emond noted that the Greater Concord clubs employ a development director and grant writer, both of whom will be able to assist the Lakes Region club with its fundraising efforts.
The Lakes Region Club launched a $2.4 million fund-raising drive two years ago after it acquired the church property and has since raised well over $1 million. There are three parts of the fund drive, $700,000 for the purchase of the church property, $700,000 for renovations to the property and $1 million for an endowment fund.
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