LOCKWOOD — Staff at Boys and Girls Clubs of Yellowstone County were excited to expand their physical activity programs, thanks to a donation of $105,000 made Tuesday by Billings businessman Ron Muri.
"This is another great gift that's going to allow us to grow that foundation to help us continue to serve kids for years and years to come. The money will go into the endowment, but then the earning off of those funds will help us expand the quality and the diversity of the health and life skills that we provide," said Brian Dennis, president and CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of Yellowstone County.
It’s a packed four-and-a-half hours after school each day for kids at the five different Boys and Girls Clubs in Yellowstone County. Each of the five clubhouses serve more than 350 kids each day. A typical evening is filled with arts and crafts, science and technology, homework help, playground games and the occasional field trip.
“We have numerous programs for them. And something that every kid, between six and 18, would like to participate in," said Gwen Kircher, who has been a board member for the local clubs since 2000.
Maggie is in fifth grade and regularly attends the club at Lockwood School after she's done with classes. She said this is her third year hanging out at the Boys and Girls Club.
“It’s just a really fun time with all the activities and all the stuff we do. And I really like it because we get to do art stuff and dodgeball and capture the flag and we do a lot of stuff," Maggie said.
Muri said he chose to donate to the Boys and Girls Clubs because the money will go directly to help kids.
“Instead of coming out here and building more facilities in Lockwood and the Heights, they partnered with existing facilities that make all the sense in the world, therefore allowing more of the money to go directly to the kids for the things like you said, the programming. And I just love that. I think that’s great and I think the kids are the benefactors of that," Muri said.
To keep promoting physical activity, the Lockwood Boys and Girls Club plans to hold the first annual Ron Muri Fun Run sometime next May.
“Make it much bigger, much better, lots more people involved. Just a way for us to engage the community. Help our kids be active and live a good, healthy life," Dennis said.
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