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Fri., Aug. 29
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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York

Massena explores Boys and Girls Club

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MASSENA - The village’s Neighborhood Watch Program is exploring the idea of starting a Massena Boys and Girls Club.

Dave Ross, regional services director for the Boys and Girls Club’s 11-state northeast sector, will speak at Tuesday’s Neighborhood Watch meeting about the idea’s feasibility. The public is encouraged to attend, Police Chief Timmy J. Currier said.

Mr. Currier said the idea sprang out of discussions on ways to keep Massena’s youth occupied and out of trouble after school. Village police have dealt with rising instances of vandalism believed to be, in part, related to juvenile activity.

“When you put kids in constructive settings and you properly supervise them, they’re less likely to commit criminal mischief,” Mr. Currier said. “We need to do something more for the juveniles in the community.”

Mr. Currier said many more obstacles for siting such a club must still be cleared, including finding a space and handling the organization’s overhead costs.

“This is a daunting task,” he said. “What we’re looking to do is try to spark interest. Hopefully we’ll get people to the table and start looking at it.”

Mayor James F. Hidy had previously proposed siting a YMCA in Massena. He said that idea was still on the table, but he was in support of Neighborhood Watch’s efforts too.

“We’re open to any of the programs really. We’re exploring all the ideas. We met with the school and discussed the possibility of running the program through them,” he said.

“It’s a great thing. Our goal and our aim is to get kids involved and keep them busy somehow,” he added. “The Boys and Girls Club is a good viable alternative to what we’re trying to accomplish.”

Ogdensburg and Akwesasne already have Boys and Girls Clubs. The clubs offer sports and games, academic tutoring, computer labs, community outreach opportunities, character education and field trips, according to Rhonda Rodriguez of Neighborhood Watch.

“The Boys and Girls Club is an established national organization, so we wouldn’t be re-creating the wheel if we started a club here,” Ms. Rodriguez said in a prepared statement. “What we need now is people power – we need to show the regional and national staff that Massena is worthy of their support because the people of the community are on board. Attending Tuesday’s meeting is critical to getting the process started.”

The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. in room 30 of Massena Town Hall.

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