Intergenerational friendships spark fun, fundraising

CARLSBAD — For four years, a special bond has developed between the senior residents of Rancho Carlsbad Estates and the young members of Boys & Girls Clubs of Carlsbad.
First there was a ping-pong tournament. After six wild and noisy games the seniors clearly stunned club teens by winning by a landslide. Many rematches have taken place since that initial romp, but the seniors remain the defending champs. Then came weekly visits made by a group of children to Rancho Carlsbad’s gardening plots, where relationships flourished almost as much as their plantings. Other activities have included a fishing derby, holiday caroling, participation in July 4th celebrations, making quilts and various art projects. The list just kept expanding.
To top it all off, a group of industrious residents formed a fundraising group and set a lofty goal for themselves – to raise $250,000 for the naming rights of the Teen Center at the new Bressi Ranch Clubhouse. Not only did they meet this challenge, but they exceeded it. More than 30 percent of the Rancho Carlsbad community made a donation to this project, raising over $260,000 via 153 gifts. To celebrate their success, donors were recently invited to preview the new Teen Center and get an update on construction progress.
“Our 55-and over community rallied behind a needed and most worthy project: to build a Teen Center that will serve hundreds, no thousands, of teenagers over the many years of its existence. We’re proud of our accomplishment,” said Russ Kohl, the fundraising “ringleader” for the seniors.
“What this group has done is simply inspiring,” said Brad Holland, club chief executive officer. “The gift of their time, talent, and treasure will have a lasting impact on Carlsbad’s youngsters.”
For more information, call (760) 729-0207, e-mail info@bgccarlsbad.org, or visit www.bgccarlsbad.org.

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