Erie County Legislator Joseph C. Lorigo recently joined local Boys & Girls Club directors to observe how county Primetime funds were being used to maximize the benefit for local youths. On July 22, Legislator Lorigo toured the East Aurora Boys and Girls Club, Camp Ska-No-Ka-San in Holland and the Holland Boys and Girls Club, which are all utilizing County Primetime funding to operate summer programs.
“I was pleased to learn that the East Aurora and Holland Boys and Girls Clubs are maximizing every dollar received and had implemented efficiency plans to best use the Primetime funds. That includes the scholarship program which helps individuals in need to ensure all kids have the same opportunity to participate. For many families, having a safe place like the Boys and Girls Club is critical as both parents work during the day,” said Legislator Lorigo. “There are families in the district I represent facing the same economic constraints and concerns as other families throughout Erie County. Thanks to Erie County’s Primetime funding program and organizations like the Boys and Girls Clubs, families have the opportunity to take part in safe and structured activities.”
Under the direction of Gary Schutrum, the East Aurora Boys and Girls Club is able to provide affordable summer camps and programs, providing local youths with a supervised environment during the summer months. Funding is also used to provide scholarships to families in need. In addition to 600 campers attending Camp Ska-No-Ka-San, some through the scholarship program, East Aurora utilizes the funds to provide programming at its facility in the village, providing full-day programming, along with extended day camp.
“Primetime enables our club to provide high yield educational services to our campers and members that we would otherwise not be able to offer without the funding received from Erie County. As a result our neediest members and campers have enjoyed a great summer of educational field trips, educational programming at camp and the club, job ready training and job experiences and extended camp days in a fun, safe well supervised club and camp environment,” said Schutrum.
Brian Tavernier, Chief Professional Officer for the Boys and Girls Club of Holland, reported that hundreds of youths are attending Camp Ska-No-Ka-San and other summer recreation programs thanks to the Primetime funding.
“On behalf of the Boys and Girls Club of Holland's Board of Directors, staff, and especially the kids we serve, I would like to thank everyone who made this year’s Primetime funding possible, especially Legislator Lorigo and the Erie County Youth Bureau Board and Staff. These funds are enabling our organization to serve more kids this summer, at a time when families depend on us most. The funding has strengthened and helped to support the Town of Holland Recreation Program as well as our summer day camp program, Camp Ska-No-Ka-San,” Tavernier said.
In June, Legislator Lorigo announced that East Aurora received $10,000 and Holland received $7,500.
Legislator Lorigo has visited numerous organizations that receive county funding. Last fall he met with several cultural organizations to learn how county money was being applied and what services were being provided.
“I want to ensure that these dollars are well spent and that taxpayers are getting a return on these investments. If we provide funding without any accountability then we aren’t doing our job as legislators. I have found that there is a lot of accountability but there is always room for improvement and I will continue to meet with and work with groups to ensure we are spending the funds wisely,” said Legislator Lorigo.