Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion The Kenai Boys and Girls Club clubhouse serves breakfast, lunch and a snack Monday through Friday during the week to all children in the community 18 years or under through the Summer Food Service Program for Children, Tuesday, June 30, 2015, in Kenai, Alaska.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion The Kenai Boys and Girls Club clubhouse serves breakfast, lunch and a snack Monday through Friday during the week to all children in the community 18 years or under through the Summer Food Service Program for Children, Tuesday, June 30, 2015, in Kenai, Alaska.

Boys and Girls club funding requests illuminate needs

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Tuesday, June 30, 2015 11:35pm
  • News

The Kenai Peninsula Boys and Girls Clubs were denied two critical, capital project-funding requests during this year’s legislative session that would have improved and stabilized daily food and development services for youth at two local programs.

The Kenai Clubhouse Child Nutritional Program asked for upgrades for the onsite kitchen that provides 112 suppers every weekday during the school year without access to a stove or dishwasher. The Kasilof Clubhouse Morning and Afterschool Youth Development Programs applied for three years of continued funding support for the morning and afterschool programs.

“We had no idea if we would get the funding,” said Clubhouse Director Kim Dent. “We did a good ‘ask’ and there was just no money in the (state’s) budget.”

The total amount for the two requests was $335,000, $140,000 of which was for Kenai’s kitchen, and $195,000 to cover three years of operating expenses for Kasilof’s programs, according to the requests.

Snacks have been offered at local clubs for 26 years, and the first supper was served in August 2012 at the Nikiski location, said Executive Director of the Kenai Peninsula Boys and Girls Clubs Heather Schloeman. That’s a difference between a two-component snack and a five-component meal for kids, she said.

“Now, seven of the eight local programs are serving suppers,” Schloeman said. “This includes prepping meals for the Kenai Teen Center that does not have a kitchen at their facility.”

The meals are funded through the State of Alaska Child Nutritional Programs, Schloeman said.

In it’s beginning stages, in January 2012, 933 suppers were served, and 6,263 suppers were served in April 2015, according to the peninsula-wide meal counts Schloeman has been tracking since commencement. The plan is to continue to increase those numbers, she said.

“Not all families are able to provide the types of meals we are serving,” Schloeman said. “The community is obviously in need of these programs. “We have our kids for long periods of time during the summer months and right after school during after school time. Our kids our hungry and these programs are a benefit to them and their families.”

Dinner at the Kasilof club is the last meal some members may receive until the next morning, Schloeman wrote in the funding request. The Kenai Clubhouse is cooking hundreds of meals weekly without a dishwasher, warming oven, stove top, commercial refrigeration and with minimal prep space, Schloeman wrote in the funding request.

There are three teen programs that provide mentoring and recreational services for children ages 13 through 18, and five clubhouses ages 5 through 12, across the Kenai Peninsula, that see 420 kids in total every day, Schloeman said.

The demand is being met, but with obvious difficulties, Schloeman said.

Raelyn Passe, Tristan Sigura and Parker Mattox all attend the summer program at the Kenai Clubhouse five days a week. The clubhouse is open from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Passe said her favorite meal is the nachos, and Mattox said he likes the cheeseburgers.

Mattox said the meals are usually very healthy, with a vegetable and fruit option at every single meal.

“Sometimes if we are lucky enough we get a cookie or something,” Mattox said.

The three said they never go hungry after a meal unless they chose not to get more food. Without the meals Passe said she would be tired and irritable. She would have trouble concentrating on activities such as schoolwork and spending time with friends would be less enjoyable. Mattox and Sigura agreed.

The renovations would have helped tremendously, Lee said. All preparation and cooking would be easier to execute if the upgrades could be afforded, Lee said. Luckily for items such as the nachos and cheeseburgers loved by Passe and Mattox, beef can be cooked in the oven, she said.

Alaska has two Boys and Girls Club organizations, one for the Kenai Peninsula, with six sites, and one based in Anchorage, with 30 sites spread across the state. In addition, there are several separate locations on military installations that operate under a military charter, said Director of Development and Communications for Alaska Boys and Girls Clubs, Jennifer Brown.

Alaska Boys and Girls Club Chief Executive Officer, Alana Humphrey said the state’s two organizations operate on a combination of grant, foundation, private and corporate funding.

Both organizations have also received State funding for capital projects but received no project funding from the 2015 legislative session, Humphrey said. Federal funding for the organizations has declined sharply since 2008, she said.

In the Kasilof development program request, Schloeman wrote the program has been able to pool resources, and has been using all sources of funding “extremely conservatively and efficiently,” but “would be hard pressed to continue the program without a significant amount of funding.”

“What I try to get across to the community, is that if they want quality programs from after school to sports programs the money has to come from somewhere,” Schloeman said.


Reach Kelly Sullivan at


More in News

The Seward welcome sign is photographed in July 2021. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Seward vice mayor and council member resigns

The council accept the resignation of Tony Baclaan during its Monday night meeting.

Ben Mohr watches Kenai River Junior Classic participants head out to fish on the Kenai River in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Mohr resigns as director of KRSA

He has been the executive director of KRSA for nearly three years.

Heather and Hunter Phillips walk through the Kenai Community Library Haunted Hunt with their mom Kumi Phillips on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Scary reads

Spooky literary characters come to life at Kenai library haunted house.

Alaska state Rep. Laddie Shaw, an Anchorage Republican, waits for the start of a so-called technical session on the House floor, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. The fourth special legislative session of the year began Oct. 4, in Juneau, but there has been little action at the Capitol and little progress toward resolving Alaska’s fiscal issues. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
Special session plods on with little action

Many legislative offices have been dark and floor sessions in some cases have lasted seconds.

The Kenai Community Library health section is seen on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. After the Kenai City Council postponed a vote to approve a grant funding health and wellness books, community members set up a GoFundMe to support the purchase of materials. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
After cries of censorship, community raises funds for library

The Kenai City Council voted during its Oct. 20 meeting to postpone acceptance of a $1,500 grant for materials related to health and wellness.

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. (CDC)
11 new deaths reported

Statewide there were 244 COVID-related hospitalizations as of Tuesday, with 37 of them on ventilators.

Rep. Don Young talks during a June 2021 interview with the Empire. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Young to face off with a Begich yet again

Young, 88, seemed unfazed by Begich’s entry into the race.

A remote galaxy captured by the Hubble Space Telescope is greatly magnified and distorted by the effects of gravitationally warped space. (Image via NASA)
Grant brings NASA to library

The grant supports science, technology, engineering, arts and math programming for patrons.

Most Read