Mason Valley children get first-ever youth center in Yerington

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YERINGTON - The Boys & Girls Club of Mason Valley has been a dream of Diane McCoy's for several years. On Monday, McCoy's dream will be reality as the Boys & Girls Club, located in downtown Yerington, officially opens for membership.

McCoy is executive director, and along with Program Manager Travis Crowder, the two have put blood, sweat and tears into a project available to more than 1,400 children. It is Yerington's first youth center.

"We're real excited about this," said McCoy.

"It's bringing fruition to three years of hard work by the executive board and the board of directors of the Boys & Girls Club of Mason Valley, and myself. We've been working on this project a long time."

A grand opening celebration with local and state dignitaries is scheduled for Aug. 5.

"Diane has got grant money from the Wiegand Foundation to help fund the teen center and computer lab," said Crowder. "Altogether, it's taken about $750,000 to get the club off the ground."

Programs similar to the Boys & Girls Club in Carson City will be available in Yerington. The Keystone Club, a leaders program, is offered to teens ages 14-18 who help plan and organize community projects, fund-raisers (for both themselves and the community), and field trips.

Other programs include the Nike Swoosh Club (an athletic program), sports and fitness, Crazy Crafts, Computer Madness, Smart Moves. A 6,000-square-foot gymnasium will have retractable bleachers, electronic scoreboard and a new wooden floor under the new basketball hoops.

Membership in the Boys & Girls Club is open to children between the ages of 6 and 18. The fee is $10 per child per school year with all memberships this year expiring Dec. 31. To participate in club activities, each child must be a member and bring their membership card daily.

"We are really excited about all the opportunities that will be available to the kids here," said Crowder.

"We have Ron Norton from Computer Corps in Carson City doing the wiring for the computer room. There will be 15 stations networked together with two or three connected to the Internet. We have a snack bar with a pantry area plus an area with chairs for them to sit and eat. The kids will have an area with cubicles to place their personal belongings, plus the teen center and game room. There's really a lot going on.

"And one of the best parts, we have more restrooms available in this center. Both the boys and girls have multiple stalls with wash basins. And everything about the center is disability accessible."

Crowder said most activities will be held outdoors. They recently erected three tents, 20-by-20 feet in size, for outdoor games and sports, located adjacent to the building.

Each member of the club will have an identification card to use when they check in.

"All the cards are digital and are ready for the kids to pick up," said Crowder.

"They are called 'Kid Trax,' and have an identifying bar code on the back. The system tells us if the youth arrived that day, the age of the kids, how many boys, how many girls, and probably one of the neatest things is when the kids swipe the card, the computer will break down the ages of those attending. When they arrive, and, there's a monitor right there for them to see, it will say 'Good morning, (youth's name).'

"And, say a parent calls and wants to leave a message for their child, we punch that message into the computer and when the kid swipes their card the computer screen will have the message, 'Call Mom, or, call Dad.' It really cuts the paperwork end of things. The computers are kept at the front counter where everyone enters and exits."

"The community here is very into their kids. They're very tight-knit. We want the parents to feel comfortable with the fact their children are with us and we are making the conditions as safe as possible for them. We're doing everything we can to ensure this."

What: Boys & Girls Club of Mason Valley

Where: 124 N. Main St., Yerington

When: Registration opens June 19

Cost: $10 per youth

Info: (775) 463-2334, fax (775) 463-7826, e-mail


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