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Photo by Diane Cox
Apprentices from the local painters’ union scrape old paint that has bubbled up over the years at the Alton Boys and Girls Club.
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Photo by Diane Cox
The Alton Boys and Girls Club has received assistance from Lowe’s, St. Peters True Value Hardware and the Bucket Brigade to give a makeover to the 100-year-old building.
ALTON — At a time when many schools and recreation centers are struggling, a simple coat of paint can change the morale of students, teachers and residents.
True Value Hardware has taken the initiative to brighten children’s surroundings with the Paint a Brighter Future grant program.
Open to schools and recreation centers, administrators can apply at the True Value website by filling out a short application.
“This has been such a great blessing,” Alton Boys and Girls Club Executive Director Al Womack said. “We were in real need for a makeover here at the club. The process was actually a little easier than I thought it would be. This one step through True Value has extended even further in our community. The Bucket Brigade (co-sponsored by Pride Inc.) saw we may need a little bit more paint to really get the job done, so they donated additional paint. They are a wonderful group and we’re thankful to have them in our community. Lowe’s donated new bathroom fixtures, lights, poured concrete and carpeted our stage.”
Dale Neudecker of the Bucket Brigade said they’ve worked with the Alton Boys and Girls Club in the past and feel it is a safe place for children to grow in the neighborhood. The Bucket Brigade donated 30 to 40 gallons of primary paint in addition to the paint donated by St. Peters True Value.
“We’ve done some painting there a couple of times,” Neudecker said. “They do such a fine job with kids and they need a place like this to go. We are working with the local painters’ union to do the work at the Boys and Girls Club. They’ve done so much more than paint. They’ve repaired weak points in the walls, patched problem areas and it’s getting it to a point where the work will last for the club for many years. With us providing the primary paint and the St. Peters True Value donating the colors, it’s going to look like a newly rehabbed environment.”
The local painters’ union is using the project for apprentices to get on-the-job training next to skilled hands.
“No one has asked for a dime to work on this project,” Womack said. “The kids are so excited to see things come together. It’s given them a sense of pride in the club. I think these improvements will encourage the kids to take good care of their surroundings. They are seeing all the hard work that goes into it and they know that people are doing this on their own time for them.”
St. Peters Hardware was thrilled to be part of the grant program.
“It used to be only for schools, but they recently opened it up to recreation centers, too,” store manager Ellen Bennett said. “We’ve had other people in our area apply for it, but they were not awarded the grant. We were excited to find out someone in our area was given this opportunity. It took about six to eight weeks to get the letter and I was excited that we found out before the Boys and Girls Club did. I was thrilled to make that phone call to Mr. Womack to share the good news. He came in and picked out the colors that would bring some spark to the Boys and Girls Club.”
Anyone interested in applying for the grant can visit www.truevaluecompany.com/About-Us/True-Value-Foundation/Painting-a-Brighter-Future.
Anyone wishing to donate to the Alton Boys and Girls Club, 115 Jefferson Ave., can call Al Womack at (618) 462-6249 or St. Peters Hardware, 2502 State St., at (618) 466-6931.