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Announces Major Gift for Keller Pavilion

By Kara Addy

November 12, 2021 — Cashiers, N.C. — Things are looking up at the Boys & Girls Club of the Plateau.

At the site of its future home on Frank Allen Road, a tall construction crane recently towered over a large concrete pad, beams, and steel trusses, all part of the new open-air pavilion. A few feet in front of it, stone continues to be stacked high on the columns around the main building. The new facilities are the result of a three year capital campaign that has achieved great success, thanks to many generous donors, the most recent being Ron and Kaye Keller of Cashiers.

The Kellers are the latest to give a major gift to the campaign. Their $570,400 donation will help fund the new, 7,200-square-foot pavilion, a multi-purpose, covered outdoor space. For Ron Keller, it was memories of his childhood in a small town that inspired the generosity.

“Growing up in Speedway, Indiana, I had access to a community park where I learned valuable lessons through outdoor activities, team sports, and family activities,” he said. “Once Kaye and I saw the building plans, we became enthusiastic about the pavilion’s potential, not only for Club programming, but also for community activities such as concerts, movies, dances – anything that could be planned that inclement weather would interrupt.”

The Kellers hope that their gift will motivate others to support the Club’s operations. They believe that community residents will be inspired when they learn about the role the Boys & Girls Club of the Plateau plays in supporting working families and “in implementing proven strategies to help children and teens develop into productive, caring and responsible citizens.”

“When Ron and Kaye visited the site of our new facility, they immediately understood the vision of what this space will allow us to accomplish with the children that we serve.” said Robin Walker, president of the BGCP Board of Directors. “We are so grateful to the Kellers for their strong support of our mission to help more local children reach their full potential, while also opening up new possibilities for how the pavilion can benefit the community. Their gift further drives our goal of delivering a first-class experience for our Club members, their families, and now everyone from the community who attends an event at the Keller Pavilion.”

Eight years ago, a group of community leaders founded the Boys and Girls Club of the Plateau (BGCP) in response to an identified need for affordable after-school enrichment. With a membership ranging from kindergarten through high school, BGCP supports academic success, healthy lifestyles, and strong character and citizenship, while helping children build healthy relationships with supportive adults, peers, and themselves.

In late February 2021, the organization broke ground on construction of the new facilities, made possible by an outpouring of support from the community.

“In recent years, total Club membership has grown to more than 240 children and teens. The demand for BGCP programming was so great, that we quickly grew beyond the capacity of our original space,” said Walker. “The Keller Pavilion, together with the new 8,300-square-foot classroom building, will allow us to welcome all children who want to join the Club, especially those who need us most.”

The organization has a track record of proven success. It regularly exceeds national averages as measured by the Boys & Girls Club of America for many positive outcomes, including academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. According to the organization’s 2020 data report and survey, 100 percent of members in grades five through twelve are on track to graduate from high school, and the same percentage of members who attend twice weekly or more average a “B” or better grades.

For more information about the Boys & Girls Club of the Plateau, call 828-743- 2775.

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