For more than two decades Innovative has been donating manpower and money to the Boys andGirls Clubs of the Virgin Islands, investing in the future of local youngsters. The tradition continued Wednesday as Innovative donated $11,000 to the clubs that will go toward sorely needed repairs.
At the Christiansted Club on Market Street, Jennifer Matarangas-King, Innovative vice president of public relations, presented O’Neil Canton, club executive director, and board members with the donation.
Canton said the donation will help with improvements to bring facilities in Christiansted and Frederiksted up to standards that meet health and safety compliances. The funds will also be used to enhance the atmosphere and the quality and value of services.
Canton said they have to fix the back gate at the Christiansted facility as soon as possible. He said the dilapidated wooden gate was put up in1989 after Hurricane Hugo. He already found an individual who will do the work.
“The plumbing is also shot,” Canton said. “The cast iron pipes have holes and the bathrooms are in bad shape.”
Canton said the clubs’ building was constructed in the late 1950s. The club has occupied it since 1978. He said the stage has weak spots and power boxes need to be protected, he said. And the walls, trim and floor need paint.
Canton said the Frederiksted building also needs electrical work and has a leaky roof. The board wants to resurface the basketball court and clean the cistern.
Matarangas-King said the Boys and Girls Clubs have proven reliability in their programs.
“We’ve had a long relationship with the Boys and Girls Clubs. We know the value of the clubs and we’re very pleased with their history of proven programs,” Matarangas-King said.
She added it is important that the children attending the club have a safe environment.
Innovative’s management and employees volunteering in the “Innovative Cares” project descended upon the St. Thomas Club in 2011. The club, located at Oswald Harris Court Housing Community, got a face lift inside and out, including new kitchen tiles, interior painting and the creation of a private garden area.
Shaniece Charlemagne, president of the Boys and Girls Club board of directors, said the board really appreciates the donation. She said the club gets some funding from the government and it has a 21st Century Grant from the Department of Education.
“Donations are extremely important for the clubs at this time, with budget shortfalls and cuts,” Charlemagne said. “It’s important for local business and corporations to donate.”
She added the board hopes more companies will follow suit.
May Adams Cornwall, chairwoman of the board’s Resource Development Committee, said she hopes to cultivate more donations and supporters from people seeing this donation.
Canton said he is very thankful for the donation from Innovative. He challenged other companies, corporations, and individuals to step up and match Innovative’s donation.
People can donate materials and manpower if they can’t afford to donate money, Canton said. Those interested can call Canton at 1-340-778-8990 to find out more about donating.