The Boys & Girls Club has ‘The Club’ kids volunteering downtown this summer

KRTV Coverage –

More than a dozen children from the Boys & Girls Club have committed to help clean up downtown Great Falls every Tuesday for six weeks during the summer.

One of them, Karlee Palagi, says that volunteering is fun, telling us, “Just hanging out with my friends and just making downtown look more pretty.”

Justin Redeen, the “downtown ambassador” for the Great Falls Business Improvement District, is pleased with how smoothly everything is going.

Redeen said, “It’s really important because a vibrant downtown is key to any community and it lets you know that the community is doing well, thriving.”

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KFBB Coverage –

You may have seen the new Downtown Great Falls Ambassador sporting his blue shirt as he makes his rounds, but now he has a few helpers.

For the next six Tuesdays members of the Boys and Girls Club will complete community service projects downtown.

Tuesday, they swept up on the corner of 3rd Street and 1st Avenue South in anticipation of Thursday’s Alive @ 5 event.

Volunteer August Rodriguez says he sees the value in helping out. “People need clean sidewalks,” he explained. “A biker could hit one of these rocks and be injured. I like volunteering because I get to be with my friends and I like outside.”

While one group was busy sweeping, a second headed out to do some light landscaping upkeep, pulling weeds and keeping hanging flower baskets watered on this sunny day.

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Great Falls Tribune Coverage –

Members of The Club, a teen program at Boys & Girls Clubs of Cascade County, are looking for opportunities to do good in Great Falls.

The Business Improvement District is an entity devoted to making the downtown area of Great Falls more inviting for businesses and patrons.

So when the leaders of The Club called the BID looking for a project, Joan Redeen, the office manager, was ready with a list.

About 15 club members showed up Tuesday with brooms, gloves and trash bags.

“They helped out by sweeping the area where Alive@5 will be this week and doing some badly needed weeding,” Redeen said.

The Club is for kids roughly 11 years old to 18, and its mission is to provide opportunities for positive interaction with the community through service projects, said Jessica Stroop, a youth development professional.

“The kids also do some mentoring with younger kids,” she said.

John Silva, 16, will be a junior at Great Falls High School in the fall. This summer he is taking English in summer school, and he decided to join The Club “to have something to do.”

Last week, members helped bundle wooden tokens that were for sale at Taste of Great Falls.

“It’s been fun, and it keeps me busy,” Silva said.

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