The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota recently received its largest gift in its nearly half-century history.
The $5 million gift from Stearns Bank CEO Norm Skalicky’s foundation will help launch a new endowment to pay for staff wages, training and new technology. It is an unusually large amount for a human-services organization to receive, especially for a campaign that doesn’t pay for more high-profile projects such as new buildings or programs. The donation is contingent on the St. Cloud nonprofit raising a matching $2.5 million.
“It’s an incredible gift and will positively impact the Boys and Girls Clubs for generations to come,” spokeswoman Aimee Minnerath said.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota is the second-largest affiliate of the national organization in Minnesota, after the Twin Cities. It serves about 6,500 kindergarten through 12th-grade students a year at three clubs and 15 child-care programs called Kidstop, providing after-school tutoring and snacks — responding to a gap in services. With low unemployment, more parents are working, leaving a growing need for safe places for children to go after school, said Deb Nebosis, director of development.
The $5 million from Skalicky’s foundation will launch the “Great Futures Endowment Campaign.” So far, the Boys & Girls Clubs has raised $1.6 million of the $2.5 million it has to raise in matching funds and hopes to raise the rest by the end of the year.
The endowment will result in about $250,000 a year to the nonprofit, which officials said will pay for keeping wages competitive for the 250 full- and part-time staff, professional development and new technology such as tablet computers.
“It’s such a good cause,” said Skalicky, who has owned Stearns Bank since 1964. “When you go there and sit with the kids … it’s pretty hard to deny it’s a good place to give.”