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Maddie Barkate, 13, of San Juan Capistrano, helps 11-year-old Emily Flores, also from San Juan, wrap a present for her sister at the annual Operation Holiday Homework event hosted by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley in San Juan Capistrano on Dec. 13.
Maddie Barkate, 13, of San Juan Capistrano, helps 11-year-old Emily Flores, also from San Juan, wrap a present for her sister at last year’s annual Operation Holiday Homework event hosted by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley in San Juan Capistrano. Photo: Allison Jarrell

By Allison Jarrell

The San Juan Capistrano Parks, Recreation, Senior and Youth Services Commission voted unanimously on Nov. 16 to agendize discussion of the city’s funding of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley, which has a branch and its headquarters located on Via Positiva in San Juan Capistrano.

Commissioner Kim McCarthy placed the item on the agenda, calling for a review of the city’s monthly donation of $7,800 to the club “in order to determine the direct benefit to San Juan taxpayers.” McCarthy wrote that she believes many of the children do not reside in San Juan.

“This is about taxpayer dollars and how we spend them,” McCarthy said. “I want to look at that because I’m not sure if we should be spending money … for children that live in other cities … maybe it can be better spent elsewhere.

“I fundamentally believe that taxpayer dollars … are to be spent on infrastructure and safety purposes,” she said.

More than 2,700 children from 11 different communities were served by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley in 2014, with an average daily attendance of 365 kids between the three locations, according to the club’s website. Of that total, 243 children—roughly 67 percent—attended the club in San Juan Capistrano. In Aliso Viejo, 75 kids are served daily on average and in Rancho Santa Margarita, about 47 children are served daily.

Just over 85 percent of the clubs’ membership qualifies for free or reduced lunches, and the club provided 32,002 meals last year. Programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs include education, environment, health, arts, careers, alcohol/drug and pregnancy prevention, gang prevention, leadership development and athletics, all taught by 20 trained club professionals and over 200 volunteers.

Nicole Watson, area director of the Boys & Girls Clubs, addressed the commission last Monday night.

“It takes a village to raise a child,” Watson said. “We love the kids from San Juan Capistrano and we’re just very thankful to be in this town.”

Following public comments, which were largely in favor of continuing financial support for Boys & Girls Clubs, and some confusion over whether the commission could discuss the item in full that night, staff clarified that a majority vote of the commission would be needed to agendize the item for a future discussion. The commission voted unanimously to agendize the topic, with several commissioners noting that they support the club and would be interested in learning more about the services it provides for area residents.

The next regularly-scheduled meeting of the Parks, Recreation, Senior and Youth Services is set for 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 21 at City Hall, located at 32400 Paseo Adelanto. An agenda has not yet been posted.

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About The Author Capo Dispatch

comments (23)

  • What a callous cold hearted position from Commissioner McCarthy. These are CHILDREN that are being helped. Does it really matter if they’re from a neighboring town? Communities in California shouldn’t be bound by the arbitrary lines from one town to the next. Local children are being fed. Could there be anything more fundamental than feeding those that cannot feed themselves? Especially this time of year?

  • The Boys and Girls Club is one of the best things to ever happen to San Juan Capistrano. It has grown from the old, small building by Stone Field, into s major asset for the children of San Juan. If it helps even more children, that is something we should be proud of.

  • Why is the Boys and Gurls Club not self sufficient financially ?

    • Clint,
      “For more than a century, Clubs have helped put young people on the path to great futures. Boys & Girls Clubs annually serve nearly 4 million young people, through membership and community outreach, in over 4,100 Club facilities throughout the country and BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations” BGCA website

      I suggest that you do a little research.

      • Shelly Welcome, what exactly does that have to do with the subject at hand ?

      • Clint,
        Most non-profits are not self sufficient but rely on donations. They do not make a profit or generate a ton of funds. The purpose of the Boys and Girls club is not to make money. It is to help children.

  • The Boys and Girls Club provides services to all children despite race, gender, financial need, etc. It is all about recreation, education, enrichment for the children of our community. I really do not believe that Commissioner McCarthy understands her department This department’s main focus is not only all about infrastructure and safety but also how people utilize the parks and recreation around SJC. The Boys and Girls club enriches, educates, provides recreation for hundreds of children in SJC and the outlying communities. What is the purpose of Parks and Recreation if no one is using them? Is the Parks and Recreation examining all non-profits that utilize the Parks and Recreation facilities or just the Boys and Girls Club? If not then why is Commissioner McCarthy targeting the Boys and Girls Club?

  • Is Commissioner McCarthy is looking into all the non-profits that utilize our facilities? Churches, Scouts, etc.? Why is she targeting the Boys and Girls Club?

    • Shelly Welcome, that is an excellent point. Why does the Playhouse which is also a non profit that rents from the City, also sublet space in violation of the license agreement ? It also appears the Playhouse engages in political activity which is in violation of the non profit status. Why does the Playhouse have a statue in front of it, of a horse that has not been approved by the landlord (not permitted by the City), and does not have the approval of the Design Review Committee ?

      Thank you Shelly for bringing to my attention of what other non profits in the City appear to have issues.

      • Clint,
        The Boys and Girls Club are housed in cities all over the United States including military bases. What exactly is your issue with the Boys and Girls Club? Why don’t you feel our city should donate and help support to this organization?

      • Clint,
        I have no idea why the playhouse has a horse? Maybe because SJC has always had a history of being a horse town? Maybe you should research it. Why do you believe that the Boys and Girls Club which is a non-profit and whose purpose it is to help children have a bright future be self-sufficient? Is the Red Cross self-sufficient, is UNICEF, is the United Way, etc.? It is a non-profit that relies on donations to function. So can you please explain what is wrong with the community of San Juan Capistrano helping the children of our community? Have you ever been to the Boys and Girls club?

      • Clint,
        The people who run the playhouse are entitled to their opinion. It is free speech.

        Why are you against the playhouse? Is it political?

        Why are you against the Boys and Girls Club?

      • Shelly Welcome, again, the horse does not have the approval of the City as required, not does it have the approval of the Design Review Committee. Thank you, I have already completed my research.

        As for the Boys and Girls Club, why is it not self sufficient. Why are our taxpayer dollars going to support a non profit who has a fair percentage of children who do not reside in our City ? Not against the Boys and Girls club. The organization should be financially self sufficient without taxpayer help. We have already provided the land, the building and the maintenance at taxpayer expense.

        As for the Playhouse, again, the license agreement does not allow the property to be sublet, which it has done. I am all for free speech, however the license agreement does not allow the Playhouse to be political, which it has done. In doing so, it appears that they may have also violated their non profit status with the IRS.

        i am sorry Sheeky that you think it is ok for the playhouse to violate their license agreement and sublet a taxpayer property. By the way Shelly, do you know how much the playhouse pays in rent annually ?

      • Clint,
        All non-profits have tax payers help.

        San Juan Capistrano donates to the Boys and Girls Club. It is obvious that you don’t support this and you do not support the Boys and Girls Club. Most people in San Juan Capistrano do. I think you are a little out of touch with this issue.

        The majority of children who benefit from the Boys and Girls Club in San Juan Capistrano are from San Juan Capistrano.

        The Boys and Girls Clubs are housed in buildings all over American and on Military Bases and helped with donation from taxpayers.

        I suggest you research it and actually took into all the good that the Boys and Girls Club does for the children of our community.

      • Sorry Shelly, I never have stated that I don’t support the Boys and Girls Club. I have stated that I don support taxpayer money going to support the Boys and girls club. By the way Shelly, did you look at the pro forma that was on the agenda last night for the Boys and Girls Club. One hundred percent of the money to support the Club came from the taxpayers. The pro forma showed zero revenues from either club dues (60.00) or anything else. Why are there no revenues other than taxpayer money in the revenue column ?

        Please be accurate in your statements Shelly.

      • Clint,
        Where do say you support the Boys and Girls Club? I cannot find your support for the Boys and Girls Club anywhere here. The Boys and Girls Club is supported by donations. I support the city’s donations to the Boys and Girls Club so I have no issue with the amount or if the Boys and Girls Club has revenue. I don’t feel that $3 to $10 per year is too much citizens to invest in the youth of our community. The purpose of the club is to help children and the Boys and Girls Club does this.

      • Clint,
        Do you support the city’s donation to the Boys and Girls Club?

  • Clint,
    I do not know how much the lease is. Art is important though and the playhouse is an asset to our town. Or do you feel that San Juan Capistrano does not need a playhouse?

    People are allowed to disagree with you. This does not mean that they are being political. And everyone is entitled to share their political views. This is free speech. I am sorry that you are attempting to limit freedom of speech.

    Most people in San Juan Capistrano support our city’s donation to the Boys and Girls Club. I predict that the meeting on Monday will be a full one. The tax payer donations to the Boys and Girls Club per year works out to be about $3 to $10 per person a year.

    And most people do not care where these children reside even though most live in San Juan Capistrano. Most people just care about children and want to help. That is what a community does. That is what caring people do. They care about children. Do you feel $10 per year per person is a hardship for our taxpayers?

    • Apparently you missed the part Shelly that the Playhouse was sublet out. I am sorry you missed that part.

      • Clint,
        I didn’t miss it. I just think the playhouse is an asset to our city. You may not. What does the playhouse have to do with the Boys and Girls Club?

  • Clint,
    If you already know the answer to your questions than what is your point in asking them?

  • Now the Common Sense where Kim McCarthy who is a Parks and Rec. Commissioner, works seems to be seeking to stop our city’s donation to the Boys and Girls Club. The Boys and Girls Clubs all over America are funded by local municipalities and the Federal Government and local donors because it directly enriches the lives of the children who participate and it gives them a pathway to a bright future. And for those who criticize the fact that it has paid employees. Most non-profits do. Research it.

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