The Boys & Girls Club of Venice will kick off its annual “It Just Takes One!” giving campaign with an open house from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, November 12th at the club, 2232 Lincoln Blvd., Venice.

Club officials say that the campaign is critical to ensuring that the club has the resources to remain open and continue to offer valuable programs for its members.

With additional funding in 2010, the club hopes to expand its services for teen members, especially at-risk youths, officials note. The club hopes to hire college students as tutors in the learning center to help members with their math and English homework.

The “It Just Takes One!” campaign seeks to raise funds for the club’s after-school programs and services for youth, ages six to 18, living in Venice and surrounding communities. Scheduled to run through April, the campaign seeks donations primarily from individuals and local businesses.

“The campaign’s goal this year is to raise $250,000 for the club’s annual operating budget,” said campaign chair Stephen N. Smith of Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, LLC.

“We are proud to announce that to date, our campaign has raised $65,000 as a result of some early lead gifts and pledges. All we need now is the rest of the community to show their support, and we will be able to reach, maybe even exceed, our goal.”

The club works to enable all young people, especially those in need, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens, executive director Erikk Aldridge said.

“The cost of providing the Boys & Girls Club of Venice experience to one child for a year is about $1,500,” Aldridge said. “You can see what a valuable investment that is when you compare it to the cost of incarcerating a youth who went in the wrong direction — usually $50,000 or more a year.”

To RSVP for the November 12th open house,

Information on the club,