Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Texas Close Their Doors

Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Texas Close Their Doors

Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Texas Close Their Doors

by Steve Gamel

When Rick and Babs Troutman took over the Boys & Girls Club in Lake Dallas nearly 15 years ago, their vision was to make a positive impact on area youth.

While the Troutmans more than accomplished those goals, sadly, all good things come to an end.

Citing declining student enrollment and financial difficulties, the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Clubs of North Central Texas reluctantly voted last month to suspend service in Lake Dallas and Sanger until further notice. The Lake Dallas location, in particular, began serving the families of Lake Dallas 25 years ago. In the time they’ve operated that location, Rick, Babs, and their volunteers made it their life’s work.

“One of our board members said, ‘I reluctantly vote yes [to close].’ But here’s the thing I told them and everyone else, let’s not focus on the fact we’re closing,” Rick Troutman said. “The organization has been around almost 25 years, and since we’ve been here, we’ve literally had hundreds if not thousands of kids and families come through our doors. We’ve had a huge impact on the youth in Denton County, and that’s what I want to focus on.”

The Boys & Girls Clubs is unlike other non-profits in that they are a proactive organization. They keep things from happening and ensure a child won’t go down the wrong path. Their mission is predicated on helping children reach their full potential through everything from character development, education, health, leadership, and acceptance.

It’s like a mini-city, and the kids who spend time there don’t care about color, culture, or how much money you have.

“We take in some really good kids,” Rick said in a feature article with Lake Cities Living earlier this year. “Do we have people who live in low-income housing? Sure. But we also have kids who come from good households. People volunteer and they expect to see these rough kids with torn shoes, but what they get are sweet kids who say yes, ma’am and no, ma’am.”

Rick declined to go into specifics on the decision, but it’s no secret that local clubs like Lake Dallas and Sanger need a lot of community support and donations to keep the doors open. That became a bigger struggle in recent years. Together, the Troutmans did everything from hiring employees, seeking out donors and sponsors to keep the clubs running, raising money through various events like their annual golf tournament, keeping tabs on the clubs’ books, buying supplies — and oh yeah, making sure kids are being raised to be quality human beings and feel loved every step of the way.

“Did I want it to end this way? No. Babs and I wanted to leave this for someone else,” Rick said. “But like anything else, the club had its time. And we have a pretty strong legacy to leave behind.”

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