The result of hard work, dedication and some generous monetary donations are paying off for the Boys & Girls Club of North Mississippi, one of the many groups that serve children and adolescents in our region.

The organization, which has served youth in Chickasaw, Lafayette, Lee, Tippah and Union counties since 1996, celebrated renovations to one of its Tupelo facilities this week, but also launched improvements to some of its other clubhouses – all which were made possible through generous donations.

The Northside Clubhouse in Tupelo kicked off their renovations with a $35,000 hardwood floor in the gymnasium, which was debuted Tuesday.

In addition to the new floor, the front entrance will be revamped to make the area compliance with federal regulations. New, more efficient windows will also be installed throughout the building, as well as upgrades to cabinets and appliances.

Improvements also are slated for the organization’s clubhouses in New Albany and Oxford.

Planning for the renovations began last year when the club received an unexpected donation from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, operated by the founder and executive chairman of web-hosting service GoDaddy.

The Parsons Foundation normally funds nonprofits in and around Phoenix, Arizona, but Bob Parsons recently purchased Harley-Davidson dealerships in Memphis and Southaven and was looking for a good cause to support.

Apart from the generous donations the Boys & Girls Club receive through its own fundraising efforts, such as the recent Dance Like The Stars event, donations from external groups go a long way in helping the organization fund its efforts.

Officials with the Boys & Girls Club submitted a wish list for improvements, and were thrilled with the amount they were told would be coming to North Mississippi to assist with the work.

The foundation awarded the Boys & Girls Club a total of $500,000 in funding – $100,000 for Tupelo and New Albany each and $300,000 for Oxford.

In Oxford, the funds will be used to enclose a portion of the back area into a gym at the Boys & Girls Club L.O.U. Barksdale Clubhouse. The carpet will be updated with tile, air conditioning units will be updated, more bathrooms will be added and a loft space will be turned into an actual classroom area.

Boys & Girls Club of North Mississippi serves an impressive 2,000 children and adolescents in the span of a year, engaging them in recreational and mentoring relationships to help them mature and gain exposure to the positive opportunities in life at work and in play. The group has many programs before and after school to serve the children.

But none of that would be possible without dedicated volunteers who assist those efforts everyday, as well as generous donations to fund those efforts, such as the one from the The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation.

Those things are all a part of the winning formula to help develop children in our region to become the next generation of community leaders.

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