About the Boys & Girls Club of Durant
In November 2009, Durant Police Officer Shane Walker made an everyday traffic stop. What he didn’t know was who he was stopping; it was Teresa Walch, the Vice President of the Southwest Region of the Boys & Girls Club of America. Teresa presented Officer Walker with her driver’s license and insurance. She was driving a rented car and explained to Officer Walker with her work with the Boys & Girls Club of America; they provided rental cars because of the excessive travel required. Officer Walker was a Boys & Girls Club Alumni member and started asking Teresa why there wasn’t a club in Durant. She explained to him that it had to be a Community intuitive, but she would love to speak to someone about bringing one to Durant. He immediately gave her Kari Walker’s name and number and told her that if she wanted something done in Durant, Kari was the person to contact.
Teresa contacts Kari a couple of weeks later in early December. They spoke about what would be needed and Teresa asks Kari if she could get prominent community leaders together for a presentation. Kari set up a meeting for mid-January 2010. During this meeting, there were over 20 members of the community present, including the Durant school, local banks, Choctaw Nation, the Chamber, plus many other organizations. Teresa was excited from the turnout and told Greg Massey, CEO of First United Bank &Trust that she had never had this kind of interest and was excited to see what was going to happen in Durant OK. Greg immediately told Teresa that Kari could make this happen and he would support her efforts. Kari was an employee of First United Bank & Trust! Over the next 2 months, Kari assembled the beginning of a Steering Committee to look at possibility to open a Boys & Girls Club in Durant. The first meeting was in March 2010. The committee begin work quickly. The first order of business was to adopt a name for the club. Would it be Durant Boys & Girls Club, Boys & Girls Club of Bryan County, or Boys & Girls Club of Durant? The committee voted and selected the Boys & Girls Club of Durant! Next the Articles of Incorporation, BGCA permission to use logo request and website were all started. In August 2010, Robin Schmidt, Boys & Girls Club of America’s Regional Service Director, came to Durant to provide training to the Steering Committee, which included requirements and recommendations for Board membership. In October 2010 a Nomination committee was developed to interview and select the Board of Directors. This process took over 3 months and in early January 2011 Board members were notified of their selection. In February 2011, Kari notified all the members selected to the Board and the first meeting was set for March 2011.
The Board immediately begins working, within the first month the By-Laws were adopted and officers were elected. The application for 501c3 was completed within 3 months and approved September 2011. The first large fundraiser was set for December 2011, The Crystal Ball. This event raised over $20,000 and had over 200 guests. In January 2012, the Choctaw Nation and Massey Foundation announced a community challenge where each organization would match $250,000 each once the community raised the same dollar amount.
The Charter application was submitted in early December 2012 and approved on December 19, 2012. This was also the first day the Club was open for children. In June 2014, the Club moved to a more permanent location at 415 N 5th.
1. Academic Success: Youth who achieve academic success exhibit on-time grade progression, reading & math proficiency, feel connected to school and have high expectations of success.
2. Healthy Lifestyles: Youth who maintain healthy lifestyles exercise regularly, avoid risky behaviors, abstain from sexual activity and recognize the importance of healthy eating.
3. Positive Citizenship: Youth who place value on citizenship are volunteers, are registered to vote and have not been involved in the juvenile justice system.