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Some funding raised for planned Gautier Youth Center

The Boys and Girls Club in Jackson and George counties raised nearly $500,000 this past weekend for a planned youth center here.

About half the funds came from the Jolly McCarty Memorial Celebrity Golf Classic, held Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, Gov. Haley Barbour announced that the Mississippi Hurricane Recovery Fund would contribute $250,000 for the facility.

The proposed center is a three-agency project between the Boys and Girls Club, Youth for Christ and the YMCA, according to Todd Trenchard, executive director of the Bacot/Jolly McCarty Foundation.

While the project’s estimated cost now is about $1.5 million, Trenchard said that officials from the agencies are discussing what the center will need, which will determine the project’s final cost.

“This will give us some money where we can start to plan some things,” Trenchard said. “It is in the very early stages, but we have identified some funding sources.”

Catherine Glaude, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club, said the center will be important for the children in Jackson and George counties.

Joe Martin, co-chairman of this year’s Jolly McCarty tournament and a member of the Boys and Girls Club board of directors, said a Gautier location will allow the center to serve club members in Ocean Springs, Pascagoula, Moss Point and communities north of Interstate 10.

“I think it is going to be the starting point of a lot of good things,” Martin said. “There is no question that we need a youth center in the county.”