By Darci Gillespey, The Belton Journal
Belton Christian Youth Center held their first ever Bunny Run Easter EGGstravaganza fundraiser March 19 to assist with the operations & programming associated with BCYC’s everyday costs. This event included a 5k run to start the morning off, with 26 adults and 2 children runners. There were games, bouncy houses, face painting, tractor train rides, and of course an egg hunt with over 4,000 eggs donated by Schlotzsky’s Deli, BCYC board members, and BCYC staff. A raffle drawing awarding one lucky boy and one lucky girl a new bike, donated by Academy Outdoors in both Temple and Killeen, closed out the afternoon.
With over 100 people in attendance, there were also some very special visitors to make appearances; Belton Police Department’s Badge the Police Dog and McGruff the Crime Dog were greeting kids and parents alike, taking pictures, waving paws and giving hugs.
“BPD takes Badge, along with McGruff, all over to community events from BCYC to Hope For The Hungry, and all elementary school events,” says Jerry Grote of Belton Police Department. For those who braved the windy and possibly rainy Saturday morning, it turned out to be an enjoyable experience.
“Coming off spring break and weather not the most ideal, we it went well in both the run and egg hunt” said Lori Briere, executive director of BCYC.
“Overall, people had a great time! We are already in the works for next year!” says Jami Wallace, administrative assistant and special events coordinator.
The event was created as a fundraising event by board members. Money raised are to go towards operations and programming; covering everyday costs such as classroom and club supplies.
“This ensures the kids and group leaders have what they need while they are here” said Briere, who took on the role of executive director 10 months ago.
The well-known Belton Christian Youth Center, started by Jerry Brentham & Roy Woods has been in operation since 1982, merged with the Boys and Girls Club of Central Texas in September 2014. With many changes over the recent years, more exciting changes are to come. “I think our goal for BCYC is to be a community center, not only for the kids, but for parents and other community members as well. Moving forward, my vision is to teach our kids to be good citizens, to give back to our community. We reach children every day. We pray that we can be whatever any child needs at any particular time,” said Briere.
“We want to be known for more than being an afterschool childcare facility. We want to be community based, providing everything in a Christian based atmosphere.” said Wallace.
The potential to reach other age groups is well within reach. New mentoring programs such as Raising Arrows will be available to anyone in the community in need, at no charge. Passport to Manhood at SBMS for youth boys will also be a new and upcoming program. Fundraisers such as Bunny Run help to allow these courses to take place with no charge to the community and schools.
Mentor applications are now being accepted for Raising Arrows. Any person wanting to participate is welcome, regardless of age. For more information regarding BCYC, please call 254-939-5759 or stop by 505 East Ave. C in Belton.