For three years there has been an absence of youth development programs in the Natchitoches community after the 2018 closure of the former Boys & Girls Club of El Camino Real. Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana is reinstating a club in the Spring of 2022 at the Ben D. Johnson Auditorium. The means there will be after school and summer activities for youth.
The Ben D. Johnson Auditorium has served as a space for the community to come together for years. To ensure that youth recreational sports remained available at the MLK Center, the decision to re-open the club at Ben D. Johnson Auditorium was the perfect option. Continuing in the spirit of Ben D. Johnson’s mission, the Club will uplift community youth by providing a safe, positive place for kids ages 6-18. Claire Prymus, owner of Ben D. Johnson Auditorium and Johnson’s niece, said, “Thank you Boys and Girls Clubs of Acadiana! I am so excited about the Boys and Girls Club coming back to West Natchitoches to groom and develop our children.
This partnership will only help The Ben Johnson Educational Center fulfill its mission to build community in Natchitoches and give access to social and economic success to all its residents. If my Uncle Ben were alive today, he would say ‘This is helping society helping itself.’” A breakfast event will be Jan. 22 at the center for community members to learn more about the Club and hear from Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Chief Operations Officer, Lorraine Orr. Sponsorships and tickets to attend will soon be available at www.bgcacadiana.com.
The return was made possible through the support of Mayor Williams and the City of Natchitoches, Alliance Compressors, Weyerhaeuser, RoyOMartin, International Paper, BOM, EpicTouch, AT&T and the Natchitoches Boys & Girls Club Advisory Committe. If interested in supporting the Boys & Girls Club, visit www.bgcacadiana.com/donate or call 337-268-9555.