History of the Boys & Girls Club of Sparta
In the fall of 1993, the Monroe County Adolescent Task Force decided to sponsor a community breakfast in Sparta with the intention of creating a coalition of concerned citizens to combat the youth problems of alcohol, tobacco, and drug abuse. Funds for the breakfast came from a grant that the Task Force had received through CESA #4.
The Kick-Off Breakfast was held on October 27, 1993, at the Inn on the Ranch. A master of ceremony from the community was chosen and a guest speaker - an expert in helping to create community coalitions - came in from Washington, D.C. In attendance at the breakfast were 130 invited community leaders from government, schools, churches, and businesses.
On November 4, 1993, the group met again with 77 people present, and it was decided that a coalition needed to be formed. The name of the group was the Sparta Coalition for Youth. Co-chairpersons were nominated; a treasurer and secretary were also elected. At this meeting, it was decided that subcommittees should be formed to work on the various aspects of the goal of prevention. The subcommittees were as follows:
Public Policy, and
The Coalition met on a monthly basis, as did the subcommittees. Average attendance at regular Coalition meetings fell to about 10-15 people. On special events, the attendance was substantially greater.
On May 12, 1994, the Coalition voted to support the concept of establishing a Boys & Girls Club in Sparta. This idea came out of the Alternative Activities subcommittee, which was chaired by a local pastor.
On February 2, 1995, the Coalition voted to have a representative from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America visit and give them information on how to establish a Club. Also at that time, the Coalition was in discussion with the city of Sparta about possibly acquiring the former Cowboy Village building as a community center to house a Boys & Girls Club.
The Boys & Girls Club of Sparta opened its doors on December 27, 1995, and has continued to be a "Positive Place for Kids" in the Sparta community!