Amarillo, TX - This year the Maverick Boys and Girls Club has more than doubled the number of children it serves and quadrupled its staff, and the non-profit is still adding more.
The club is now one of two non-profit after school programs available in Amarillo and Canyon because others have closed. Adapting to the growth has been a challenge the past couple weeks, and the club is hoping a benefit concert Thursday will bring in some extra funding.
American Idol winner Ruben Studdard is bringing his vocal talent to Amarillo and all proceeds from Thursday's show will benefit the Boys and Girls Club.
Club President Kimber Daniel said the fundraiser is especially important this year after the club was asked to take over Canyon ISD's after school program, which added 700 more children to their roster. The club also had to hire 80 more employees.
"We've gone from an $800,000 budget to a $1.5 million budget just in the past year," said Daniel. "With the closing of the YMCA, Campfire and some of the other AISD after school programs closing, we've had to pick up that slack also."
The club is still tackling a waiting list of 125 kids who need after school care. Daniel is trying to hire more employees so they can serve more children, but that costs money.
The club is hoping to raise about $125,000 on Thursday, which is an increase from last year. "We've upped that around $50,000 just to help us with that expansion into the other schools," said Daniel. "It always puts a financial burden on us when we do things like that, but there is such a great need in Amarillo and for after school programs in Canyon that we want to be able to fill that need and give kids good programming, hope that they have a good time and keep them off the streets."
Ruben Studdard is taking the stage Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Amarillo Civic Center. Tickets are still available and cost $25. You can purchase tickets at the Civic Center Box Office, Panhandle Tickets, and United Supermarkets.