Author: erikko.aldridge

Boys & Girls Club Thrift Shop provides 1/3 of operating funds

Many community members are aware of the mission and work of the Boys & Girls Club of Venice. However, many people do not realize that over one-third of the club’s operating revenue comes from the club-owned thrift shop on Washington Boulevard. The shop is holding a “Super Sale” Saturday, September 16th. “The shop is a huge component to the club,” said thrift shop director Arthur Bright. “The club pays 100 percent of the expenses so that 100 percent of the revenue can go to support the children and all of the programs at the club, which is why receiving community support is so critical.” Bright, a former New Yorker and now a Venice resident, has been directing the shop for the past six months, and is very knowledgeable and zealous about what the shop means for the club for obvious reasons. “I was a member of the Thompson Square Park Boys Club in New York,” said Bright. “I know how much these programs mean toward creating a better way for the kids in the neighborhood.” The shop generates lots of interest from local residents like La Verrne Wimberly who has been shopping there since 1989, on a relative’s recommendation. She said she spends “about five hours a week” shopping at the shop. “I love shopping for crystal pieces,” say Wimberly. “I think I’ve furnished my whole house at the...

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Lalo Marquez: Saving lives through artwork at club

Eduardo “Lalo” Marquez bounced around from job to job until, one late evening in October while working as a volunteer at a local Boys & Girls Club, he connected with his calling while constructing a haunted house for the local children. “I had a friend who told me about a job opening as an art director at the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Monica,” Marquez said. “I jumped at the opportunity with no formal program in mind.” After securing the job, Marquez developed the art program from scratch by partially using the instincts developed on the streets of Watts, where he says he was a former tag artist. He was also able to implement his educational acumen, cultivated while taking classes at Cerritos College. Marquez created a blended program that attracted many at-risk children and teens to his area. Now a four-year veteran in the Boys & Girls Club movement, Marquez has brought his motivational and artistic skills to the Boys & Girls Club of Venice, where children and teens under his tutelage learn how to make art fun and therapeutic. “I seem to attract kids with a lot of personal issues,” Marquez said. “They see me as someone who they can relate to and I help them nurture their talents.” Marquez has been known to take delinquent kids who have had multiple brushes with the law and...

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