The sound of a basketball echoes off the walls as a child dribbles down the court. They evade a defender, drive down the lane, and lay it in before the buzzer sounds.

A local teen sits in a class fixated on learning how to cook as the teacher takes them step-by-step through easy to create recipes. The teen knows that if it weren’t for this class they wouldn’t be able to eat over the weekend, because their parents have to pull another shift.

A preteen secretively brings in a bag of dirty clothes to be cleaned. They feel slightly embarrassed, but thankful when they see the smiling face of the volunteer who discreetly takes the bag. While their clothes are in the wash, they go to take a shower because the water at their home isn’t working.

These are just a few scenarios that the Boys & Girls Club of Washington County hopes are in its imminent future as the construction of their Gym Project begins.

Phase One of the project focuses on the structure of the building, while Phase Two focuses on the finishing touches. BGCWC hopes to have Phase One completed by mid-summer and Phase Two completed by Labor Day Weekend.

“We are in a great place right now,” said Rebecca Johnson, Executive Director at BGCWC. “We are currently in the demolition portion of Phase One. Our goal is to have a kick-off event in the fall for Labor Day.”

Once completed, this project will allow BGCWC to expand its enrollment and programs offered to the children they serve and the whole community.

“The Boys & Girls Club of America has a whole suite of physical activities that we have not been able to take advantage of because of space constraints,” said Johnson. “We will also be able to open the space up to the public for recreation leagues, events, birthday parties, and more.”

Along with a large activity space that includes basketball and volleyball courts, the new facility will also boast locker rooms, classrooms, an exercise room, and a laundry facility. These auxiliary spaces will also be utilized to teach necessary life-skills to children who may not otherwise have the opportunity to learn them.

Over the past year, BGCWC has worked to secure funding for this project, including $40,000 from Marietta Community Foundation’s Community Impact Fund.

“This is a great example of why giving to the Community Impact Fund is so crucial for our community,” said Heather Allender, President & CEO of the Foundation. “We were able to give Boys & Girls Club an initial $20,000 to help with architectural fees to get the ball rolling on this project. We then gave an additional $20,000 toward the actual construction of the project, we are excited for what this space will do for our county!”

Thanks to a recent and major donation of $350,000 from Par Mar Oil Co., which is headquartered in Washington County, the BGCWC has officially reached its fundraising goal for the construction of the building.

“When we were in the meeting [with Par Mar Oil Co.] and I heard the news, I cried,” said Johnson. “What a relief it was to know that we could complete the construction phase.”

While the two construction phases are fully funded, the BGCWC now turns its attention to fundraising for the purchase of equipment to fill its soon-to-be-completed space. Items such as bleachers, sound systems, a scoreboard, and kitchen equipment are still needed to bring this vision to life.

Marietta Community Foundation meets National Standards for operational quality, donor service, and accountability in the community foundation sector. Founded in 1974, the Marietta Community Foundation has grown over the years thanks to a number of generous gifts.

Marietta Community Foundation works to improve Washington County through grants and initiatives. If you would like to donate to the Community Impact Fund and help support organizations throughout Washington County, like theBoys & Girls Club of Washington County, please visit For those who wish to speak to an individual, please contact Heather Allender at 740-373-3286 or