'We built this for you': BGCEC opens new building in South Walton

south walton boys and girls club

BGCEC Board of Directors Chairman, Todd Wilkinson did the honors of cutting the ribbon in front of the brand-new facility.

Jennie McKeon | The Sun
Published: Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 03:18 PM.

After years of planning and dreaming, the South Walton Boys & Girls Club opened the doors of its new, 33,500 square-foot building in Santa Rosa Beach.

"It's incredible — for the kids that have been with us since the trailers on 30A to the trailers on this property," said Shervin Rassa, chief executive officer for Boy & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast. "Magical is the best word to describe it."

While the club has been operating out of its new building since September, the grand opening was postponed to April 22 when the parking lot and landscaping would be complete.

The South Walton Club was decorated specially for the opening with the sidewalk covered in chalk doodles and blue and white balloons inside. TV monitors displayed slideshows of photos taken at the club, displaying all that the organization offers to children. Right now the club has 166 members, but with the expansion, more than 200 memberships can be accommodated.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Emerald Coast provide after school and summer programs for young people between the ages of 5-18 years. The club's mission is to  "inspire and empower all young people to achieve their full potential."

Boys and girls of the club participated in the opening, greeting visitors at the door and giving private tours of the new facility.

After some mingling, guests were led outside for the official ribbon cutting. John Kelly, Walton County Chamber of Commerce board member, presented Rassa with a certificate documenting the event. Todd Wilkinson, Boys & Girls Club of the Emerald Coast board of director’s chairmen, did the honor of cutting the ribbon.



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