Wednesday was a happy day for the Maverick Boys and Girls Club of Amarillo. After years of financial struggles, the Club has finally seen a turnaround.
For years, the Maverick Club has served as one of the most inexpensive after-school options for kids whose parents work or can't afford other after-school care. In fact, the Club reported it cost about $300 a month on average for parents to provide after-school care for their children, other than the Maverick Club. Currently, the Club serves about 170-175 kids every day after school, five days a week, 50 weeks a year. The Club also provides a summer school program for about 250 kids each summer.
"We charge $20 a month for our parents to come, 85 percent of our kids are from parents who work until five or six in the evening," said President of the Maverick Boys and Girls Club, Marty Rowley.
After struggling financially, the Club feared a shut down. During those times, it sent out a survey to the parents it serves to ask what they would without the Maverick Club. The answers were devastating.
"The numbers were astronomical," said Rowley. "85 to 90 percent said well I would have to not work myself, my kids would just go home and essentially they would be latch key kids, either that or we would just have to do without a lot of things and try to find a more expensive alternative."
Rowley felt not only would those parents struggle without the help of the Club, the kid who attend its after-school programs might also suffer in more ways than one.
"Statistics show after-school hours are the highest time whenever crime occurs, whenever kids get in trouble. Just kind of makes sense," added Rowley. "It's so important that they come to a place where they feel cared for, there's discipline, guidelines to the way they can behave."
It's a place to play sports, do homework, arts and crafts and as one Alumni said, it teaches character.
"It's really a place to teach you honor and truthfulness and hard work," said Maverick Boys and Girls Club Alumni Billy Fred Jones. "It teaches you the benefits of being kind to people."
Thankfully, after suffering for years, the Club has finally seen a recovery and is one everyone attending Wednesday's luncheon wanted to celebrate.
"We had a huge financial turnaround. We did go from a monthly deficit in our expenses and in our revenues, now we're on the other side of that," said Rowley. "We are in the black every month, We have a five month reserve set aside."
Growth in donations, reputation and overall financial position for which, Rowley said, they only have the community to thank.
"We're on our way, we're doing really good," added Jones, who also now donates to the Maverick Club. "Hopefully we'll be able to serve a lot more kids in the Amarillo area for a long time."