The Eastern Shore Boys & Girls Club is marking the 100th anniversary of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Virginia with an observance at Occohannock Elementary School on April 25 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Northampton County Board of Supervisors chairman Spencer Murray will read a proclamation declaring April 25 the county’s day of celebration for the Boys & Girls Club.
The public is invited to the event, where the Frances Bibbins Latimer Library will be dedicated. In honor and in memory of his late wife, George Latimer, formerly of the Eastern Shore but now of Kissimmee, Fla., has generously created an endowment of $75,000 to benefit all Eastern Shore Boys & Girls Club members indefinitely. Each year the club will have access to four percent of the total amount while the remainder grows. Funding this year has been used to purchase shelving units to hold a wide variety of books for the children, elementary age through high school grades. The books include popular favorites that the students themselves request as well as specially selected titles that are chosen by staff. In future years, funding will be used to maintain the library and for annual cultural outings.
“I want to make sure that Bea (Mrs. Latimer) is remembered for her hard work, dedication and love of the Eastern Shore community.” said George Latimer. Frances Latimer, who died in 2010, was an educator and renown community historian who began Hickory House, her own publishing company. She published books on Eastern Shore history, genealogy, poetry, and children’s literature, but was most passionate researching and publishing books related to local African American people and places.
The Boys & Girls Clubs’ mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. The focus of every club is to provide, once the closing school bell rings: a safe haven, academic support and a nurturing meal.
The Eastern Shore Boys & Girls Club is one of 11 clubs in Southeast Virginia. It opened in Exmore on June 16, 2003 and now meets at Occohannock Elementary School. The club has 242 registered members and provided 34,848 total hours of tutoring and homework help during the school year. In addition, 37,802 meals and snacks were provided at no cost to the families.
Kathy Custis has been the Unit Director of the Eastern Shore Boys and Girls Club since its inception. Bill Payne, the chairman of the board for the past five years, says. “Kathy is our the club’s greatest asset. She inspires our youth to accomplish things they never imagined possible. You can see the self-esteem and confidence growing in these kids every year. She truly makes a difference in the lives of these youth who attend the club.”
The club is supported by its biggest fundraiser, Swine & Wine, and public support.
All donations are tax deductible because BGCSEVA is a 501(c)(3) entity.
To donate to the Eastern Shore Unit of Boys and Club, send a check payable to BGCSEVA, P.O. Box 845, Exmore, VA 23350.