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Boys and Girls Club reaches agreement to purchase St. Joseph’s Social Hall

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MASSENA - St. Joseph’s Social Hall could become the future home of the proposed Boys and Girls Club of Massena.

Timmy J. Currier, president of the Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors, said they have reached an agreement with St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s Church to purchase the Bayley Road property to become the future home of Massena’s club.

“We reached an agreement with the church on the St. Joseph’s Social Hall in the last few weeks. This is a preliminary step that outlines our intention to purchase the building and property, as we work with the church over the coming months to work out final details. We considered numerous properties and looked at several. The committee feels that this building is the most suitable with respect to location, size and adaptability for the programs we anticipate offering,” he said.

The property has been on the market for the past three years, according to the Rev. Scott D. Fobare, pastor of St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s.

“It’s been three years that it was on the market. Father (J. Michael) Gaffney is the one who initiated the sale with Lucy Kassian of Kassian Real Estate. There was interest initially in the property. There were some people who were very strongly interested. But for some reason it just didn’t pan out to sell the property,” he said.

Since it was put on the market, the social hall has seen little activity, Rev. Fobare said.

“It’s been sitting there dormant. Really, the only use it’s had is the St. Vincent de Paul Society used it in the fall for the gathering of their Christmas baskets. They needed a larger space to do that,” he said.

Rev. Fobare said the sale is good news for not only the church, but also for the community.

“It’s not only great news that we’ve sold the property, but it’s even better that it’s the Boys and Girls Club,” he said.

Mr. Currier said this is another step in the process of bringing a Boys and Girls Club to Massena.

“The Boys and Girls Club of Massena Steering Committee was formed last fall to research the need for a club, how feasible it is for Massena and to map out a course for opening the Boys and Girls Club of Massena. We have been very carefully planning the process and beginning to undertake the steps to make a club a reality here in Massena. Having reached an agreement for the former St. Joseph’s Social Hall is a tremendous step forward,” he said.

Mr. Currier said the group is now transitioning from a steering committee to a board of directors who meet monthly and will oversee moving the project forward. One of their initiatives will be to start a capital campaign, and they plan to release details after their next meeting on Wednesday.

“In the coming days and weeks, people will hear a great deal from our organization as we look for their help in this journey to open the doors on the community’s club,” he said.

Their goal is to open the club’s doors by May 2014, but “there is a great deal of work to do, and our kids are counting on the support of the business community, citizens and civic organizations in Massena and surrounding communities to help make this club a reality for them,” Mr. Currier said.

They will need help in moving forward to getting the club’s doors open, he said, whether it’s serving as a volunteer when the club is ready to open its doors for programming, donating to the organization, a program or an event, or serving on a committee to make the club a reality.

“If you have skills or expertise that you can provide to help realize our vision to serve the youth of the greater Massena community, we could use your help right now on one of our committees,” Mr. Currier said.

Anyone who is interested in assisting is invited to the next meeting of the Boys and Girls Club Planning Group, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. June 6 in the Massena Town Hall, room 30. More information is also available at www.BGCMassena.org or by sending an email to info@BGCMassena.org.

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