When Tobilynn Siemens first started working for the Lake Country Boys and Girls Club, the community centre was located in a small house on Glenmore Road, near the Winfield Community Church.
The Boys and Girls Club had been operating there since opening in 1993 but would soon move, first to the old Woodsdale School for a year before stopping in the old Winfield Elementary School, where it has been for 15 years.
“That house was smaller than any of our classrooms now,” laughed Siemens, the centre director. “It had room for 24 kids and I think they used to do their snack time in the church hall.”
After only a year in the Woodsdale School, the club found its home in 2001, when Winfield Elementary saw its last students leave in June. The Boys and Girls Club moved in that fall.
Now serving hundreds of kids and employing 20 full-time, part-time and casual staff, Siemens says the Lake Country Boys and Girls Club couldn’t have a better place to operate. And this year it’s had a variety of community groups chip in and breathe some new life into the building.
“We’ve had quite a few projects going these last couple months,” says Siemens. “We’re really lucky. Lake Country, Winfield, it’s an awesome community.”
Last week the Kelowna Home Depot and Behr Paints came together with a workforce of 20 and in two days put a fresh coat of paint in the gym, stairwell, reception area and the staff room. The staff room received a major overhaul with new flooring and several areas of the club were refreshed by the energetic crew.
“This project was huge for us,” said Siemens. “They were an awesome crew, laughing and singing. They did a great job.”
The project was just one of several ongoing or completed projects at the Boys and Girls Club. Earlier this year the kitchen was re-done thanks to a host of community sponsors and a federal government grant. The Home Depot project was valued at close to $5,000 and insurance will cover damage from a flood in a project that is set to get underway this week.
With daycare for three to five-year-olds, after school programs for 60, popular parent-and-tot morning programs that have as many as 40 people attending and evening recreational classes, the Boys and Girls Club has never been busier.
Operating Monday to Friday, it sees an average of 120 children through its doors every day. You can reach them by phone at 250-766-5277.