Boys & Girls Club approved as Charity of Choice

Boys & Girls Club approved as Charity of Choice
Posted on 03/09/2023
Mayor Oscar Leeser gave a $1,000 donation to kick-start EPWater's fundraising efforts for Boys & Girls Club of El Paso.

Acknowledging that it takes a village to raise a child, the Public Service Board emphatically approved the Boys & Girls Club of El Paso as El Paso Water’s Charity of Choice for 2023.

In light of a recent surge of youth-related crime in El Paso, PSB Chair Ivonne Santiago praised Boys & Girls Club as the perfect choice.

“I want to put out a call for action to all of us to volunteer,” said Santiago before the announcement. “We have to contribute to raising our youth, who are the future of this community. Let’s show them the future they can attain, and the joy of life without having to involve drugs, alcohol or guns. This year, I ask if each one of us can volunteer one hour of our time to help raise the youth in our community because we all are responsible for our youth and the future of the city.”

“We are understanding that there’s a lot of work, a lot of mentoring to be done, and we want to continue to lead by example,” Mayor Oscar Leeser said. Leeser offered a $1,000 donation to kick off the employee-organized fundraising season.

Making a difference

Gerardo Gomez (from left), Zulema Jamis, Elijio Myers, Fred Gorham, Mike Parker, Luz Holguin and Ricardo Ruiz pose with Boys and Girls Club staff members after the nonprofit was named as Charity of Choice.Each year, employees host fundraising events on their personal time in the spirit of service.

“For clarification, this campaign is all employee-raised money,” President and CEO John Balliew said. “It’s not El Paso Water customers’ money. This is an employee-driven effort: They select the charity, recommend it to the board and they organize the events that raise the money.”

Since 2009, employees have raised more than $417,000 for 12 local charities.

“We are the oldest active Boys & Girls Club in its original location,” CEO Anthony Tomasheski said. “We have been serving the Segundo Barrio since 1929, and we couldn’t do that without the support of big hearts of El Paso.”

Utility Assistant Chief Financial Officer Luz Holguin, a Charity of Choice Committee member, praised the Boys & Girls Club as a safe place for youth to engage in healthy activities and keep them off the streets. The funds raised by employees will be used for their club, located in the historic Segundo Barrio in south El Paso.

“Their hundred-year-old building is in desperate need of repairs,” Holguin said. “Funds raised will be used for building improvements – installing a new evaporative cooling unit for the gym and to repair their wastewater system.”

What they do

The Boys & Girls Club assists children in career development, education, sports/recreation and the arts.

The organization strives to make a meaningful difference in children’s lives, Tomasheski said.

“I sat next to El Paso Water’s Chief Financial Officer Arturo Duran who tells me he was a Club kid and what the Boys & Girls Club meant to him,” Tomasheski said. “Our most precious resource is our children, and if we don’t help them, we are not going to get to where we need to be.”  

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