This article was updated to attribute a portion of information
to the source.
BARSTOW • The Barstow Boys and Girls Club is continuing its fight to stay open.
The club recently inducted a new Board of Directors and is trying creative ways to raise funds, including attending a pre-show event for the Academy Awards this past Saturday.
A group of about 13 adults and 13 children went to the Academy Awards Gift Giving Suite where they mingled with celebrities, according to their new Board President Amber Woods. The group met Weird Al Yankovich as well as stars from Disney Channel TV shows and the upcoming Star Trek movie.
"It was a great event," Woods said. "We got a lot of contacts and information. Quite a few people want to help us out."
Woods said an Olympic figure skater offered to take the girls ice skating and they received free tickets to the San Diego Zoo, among other offers. The club set up a booth to pass out hats as part of the traditional Oscars "swag" giveaway and got several items autographed by celebrities as they passed through. Woods said they hope to auction the items off as a fundraiser for the club sometime this year.
"The celebrities were able to stop by and see the kids and we got them to sign footballs, basketballs, skateboards and a lot of different things," Board Secretary Isaac Padilla said.
In the beginning of January the club's official Boys and Girls Club sign was replaced with one that simply read "The Club," after they learned they were in financial trouble and could no longer meet the requirements to be considered an official Boys and Girls Club, according to their former Board President Michael Lewis.
But when the new board was installed recently, the official Boys and Girls sign was also reinstalled. Padilla said they hoped to meet the requirements to keep the official status throughout the rest of this year, including maintaining $150,000.
Executive Director Anne-Shirley Schreiner said the club will be open next fall for the school year, although they will not be hosting the usual summer program.
"We won't be having a summer program because it's not cost effective," she said. "We'd rather be able to stay open during the school year where we can service more kids."
Schreiner said fundraising is crucial for the club because they do not have a set source of monthly income. She said they rely on a combination of fundraisers, personal donations and grants.
"Fundraising is extremely important to the Boys and Girls Club," she said.
The Board will meet Saturday to discuss future fundraisers including their annual bull riding event at the Marine Corps Logistics Base.
"We're definitely the Boys and Girls Club and we're staying open for as long as we can," she said.
The Barstow Boys and Girls Club was first open in 1999 and is a low cost after-school program for kids ages 6-18. For more information, call (760) 255- 2422.
Contact Brooke Self at (760) 256-4123 or BSelf@DesertDispatch.com.