HAMPTON — Local officials hope the new Boys and Girls Club in the Buckroe Shopping Center will keep youth occupied and out of trouble.
“Today, our youth are faced with tremendous challenges from the hours of 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. those are peak hours for juvenile crime, experimentation with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and sex,” said Hal Smith, president of the Boys and Girls Club of the Virginia Peninsula. “Our youth need a safe place to go after school and in the summer.”
Smith along with other local officials including Mayor Donnie Tuck held a ribbon cutting for the Boys and Girls Club on Monday evening.
“Hopefully this will keep our young people together and safe especially during the summer time,” said Jasper Davis, a local business owner.
Davis along with Lennie White own the Cake Portrait Studio, which provided the Boys and Girls Club with cake during the ceremony.
The Buckroe Club is the 14th branch for the Virginia Peninsula.
The club has been open since April 16, according to a news release from the Boys and Girl Club. The branch already has 120 member registrations.
Newport News Shipbuilding provided laptops and technical assistance to the branch’s computer lab and has also gave funding for STEM programming.
The Boys and Girls Club is also equipped with video game systems and a pool table.
“We recognize how important it is to have organized after-school and summer activities,” Tuck said. “We are so thankful that the Boys and Girls Club steps in to fill that gap.”