Friday, December 5, 2014

Hoboken's Boy & Girl Club

 2009 at the B&G Club pool

"To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens"
- The Boys & Girls Club of America's Mission Statement


The evisceration of Hoboken's Boy(s) & Girl(s) Club at 123 Jefferson Street is a story told in numbers.

Because one of many ways to empty a building of its poor occupants (a non-profit), is to jack up membership fees into strata its members cannot afford.  Now, if the tenant is a non-profit serving low-income children, and employs as it's Director, the Aftercare and Enrichment Coordinator of  it's sub-lessee, an expanding Charter school, then the fee-raising is especially pernicious.  Because one may elect not to pursue grants nor corporate sponsorship nor fundraising required to keep the non-profit membership fees affordable.  No, in fact, one may preside over the astronomical jacking-up of fees, effectively depopulating the non-profit to make way for the expanding Charter School, happening  seamlessly under her 'oversight.' 

This is the story of Hoboken's Boy(s) & Girl(s) Club.

A parent GA knows paid Hoboken's B&G Club a $15/year membership fee from 2008- 2010. 

Here is a sampling of current B&G Club fees, which cover after-school services, from around the U.S...
Metro Atlanta B&G Club   $50/year
Greater Milwaukee B& G Club  $5/year
B&G Clubs of Chicago  $20/year
B&G Club of San Francisco  $10/year
B&G Clubs of Southeastern Michigan  (Detroit) $50/ year
B&G Clubs of Greater Washington (D.C.)  $25/year
B&G Clubs of Mississippi Delta $25/year
B&G Clubs of East Los Angeles  $10/year
B&G Clubs of Hudson County  $2,860/year* (*$65/wk)
In a few years, the Hoboken B&G's membership fee went from $0.34/week to $65/week.*  
(*44 weeks of after-school care, not including B&G Club summer camp)

GA verified 2014 fees with the Hudson County B&G Club (the same as Jersey City)- $65/week plus $75 for registration.

 HC B&G Club Online Fundraiser
The fees are also noted on Hudson County B&G Clubs Razz.com fundraising web page.

This fee increase overlaps the time the B&G began sharing space with HoLa and the reported diminution in services for B&G children.  

In 2008, the B&G Club program had 140 kids.  How many are there now?

Many of the B&G clubs across America state:"No child is ever turned away for inability to pay."   In a few short years, our B&G Club has purported to sublease its space to offset costs but instead, hiked its fees to exclude the kids it used to serve.

Hoboken is home (and future home) to leading corporations, like John Wiley & Sons, Marsh and McLennan, Sumitomo Trust and Banking, Mizuho Securities, Thomson Reuters, Octapharma, Bank of America, Pearson, Td Bank, Burgiss... and more.   Have any of these corporations been asked to sponsor the B&G?  What is B&G Director Garcia doing to 'bring back' the kids priced out of the B&G Club?    

Remember the screaming and hollering that rose up in 2010 when Mayor Zimmer vetoed a City Council repeal of a $25 recreation fee?       

Tim Occhipinti described the $25 recreation fee as a "tax on families" and Mike Russo cried, "The majority of people are just going say they can't afford it... you're either for taxing the children or you're against taxing the children."   

The B&G Club is in Timmy's Ward.  What did Timmy have to say when the B&G fees went through the roof and kids "left in droves"?  What did he say?

47 comments:

  1. Outrageous! Heartless! Awful!

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    1. http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/council/9.17.14.certified.resolutions.updated.pdf

      on 9/17/14
      The mayor signed a resolution to enter into an agreement with the boys and girls clun and hola to lease the city's bldg. This agreement also stated that the city will apply for a zoning variance for construction purposes.

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  2. Sounds like the kids at the B & G didn't pass the "people like me test."

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  3. Have members whose fees have been raised contacted the B&G organization to question why they allow this to happen? Surely they must gave fee guidelines set for the local chapters. The B&G receives plenty in rental income to help keep the costs down. This may need some media attention, as to why these fees are the highest in the nation.

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  4. So the wife of Mister Ethnic Cleansing Lawsuit is running the low-income cleansed Boys & Girls Club .

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    1. Mr. & Mrs. Carmelo's kid attends HoLa Charter School. It's a family affair. Scrub a dub dub.

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  5. I'm not trying to be a troll here, but is this actually the amount they are charging? The number you are giving is from their fundraising page, reflecting the cost of providing the services (and may indicate fees for those who don't have financial support). For Milwaukee, the cost to the member is $5 per person, however, there are less than 40,000 members and a budget of over $20,000,000, so fees provide less than 1% of the budget. http://www.boysgirlsclubs.org/Budget.aspx. On the HC website, the cost is not clearly laid out, but the application asks for income and there is a statement that it is "affordable to all youth." with "Our prices are designed to be as inclusive as possible with a variety of packages and program initiatives available."

    http://www.bgchc.org/help/join.html

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    1. Yes, Puzzled. That is exactly what they are charging. I called the Hudson County B&G and asked for their membership fee. They told me $65/ week with a $75 registration fee. These match numbers on the donation page, so it is reasonable to assume all those amounts are member charges and not B&G's costs.

      Yes, some other B&Gs appear to be heavily subsidized by grants/corporate sponsors/private donors.

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  6. So, Hoboken's poorest kids (mostly Hispanic) can no longer afford to attend a program that offered them a hot meal, enrichment programs and field trips to broaden their horizens because their space has been taken over by a mostly white, affluent school who's 5th grade field trip is to Puerto Rico so those students can practice their Spanish?

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    1. That sums it up.

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    2. Spanish isn't spoken in Puerto Rico

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  7. The City of Hoboken recreation fee was mostly designed to limit multiple registrations where kids then didn't show up and screwed up the team formations for other kids.

    You should add in the article if a family could not afford the $25 recreation fee and the cost would be waived. There's no income testing required whatsoever. That may be true today too.

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  8. How on earth does this happen? How can it go on?! How do people sleep at night?
    Wasn't the City reviewing the lease and the income/rental streams? What happened to that. Really. WTF?
    We have been talking about park space and rec space for f'n years and the City owns a whole building that is intended for rec space and it can't be used by the kids with no other resources and sold for dollar to people who can afford "field trips" to the islands?
    $3,000 a year! May as well be a million dollars! And that doesnt include the summer programs with that pool.
    NOBODY see a problem with this? What is happening to this town?

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    1. Its called replacing "people like them" with "people like me." the 7/8th grade expansion of Hola into space once occupied by low-income B&G, tapping the Hoboken district that educates ALL children including the poorest, the physically challenged to pay for the 7/8 expansion...AND Martinez bartering low income admissions with the Hoboken BoE...all one and the same. Low-income cleansing of 123 Jefferson to make room for Hola. At the same time Martinez is running a slick ad campaign to make the BoE look like a bunch of meanies. The BoE educates all kids no matter how expensive, like the handicapped - the kinds of kids Hola doesn't. The costs of educating physically challenged kids are extraordinary. So who's the meanie?

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  9. Not only is the B&G Club in Occhipinti's ward, from his Hoboken City Council bio page: "Tim is an active member of Hobokens Boys & Girls Club Advisory Board"

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  10. HoLa may fail or succeed on its own merits, and it does seem to be problematic in almost every way, but whether they continue, they should and must vacate the B&G Club and return it to its original, intended, subsidized use.

    If this week of horrors tells us anything, it;s that impoverished African-American kids, (the population the B&G largely served), need the programs that Club offered.

    How did we let this happen and how do we reverse it?

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    1. Agree. Disgraceful how the B&G kids were priced out and kicked out of their space. Some kids got their one hot meal of the day there.

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    2. Not one person involved with HoLa cares. Anyone with a conscience would cut all ties with HoLa and refuse to work there, refuse to send their kids there and refuse to support what is being done to the B&G kids.

      Notice that none of them do anything but make excuses or just turn a blind eye to what is going on. Completely disgusting.

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    3. They are fighting so hard for the status quo because it benefits them and to hell with everyone else. As long as they get what they want. Walk all over the disadvantaged children, trash their schools then take over their after school resources. Somehow they think it makes them look better. HoLa is 89% affluent and predominantly white all the way, baby! Why go to the suburbs when they can create the demographic they want?

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  11. Green Acres funding was used to construct some of the grounds which means that it must be open to the public at ALL times. Having any school in that building which makes it inaccessible to the public is in clear violation of the Green Acres Funding.

    The City has been aware of this for several years. Their solution now is to move the green acres designation to another location and hand over the B&G club property to HoLa...

    The site of the new Green Acres designation that the city is planning will be only a Park.... No indoor space, no kitchen, no lunch room, no homework rooms, no computer labs, no basketball courts.

    The taxpayers get the shaft... the poor kids get the boot.... and Hola gets a free building...

    Something is really, really wrong with this.

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  12. What's the B&G doing with all the rent money from HoLa? They're collecting $65 a week from kids who can afford it and getting rent from Hola. But how many kids are left? Director Garcia ?

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    1. Anyone see a copy of the lease? That is a public document, correct? There must be some sort of way to insure the property is being used by the B&G club as intended. And when does the lease come up for renewal?

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    2. http://patch.com/new-jersey/hoboken/mayor-extremely-concerned-about-the-boys-and-girls-club

      2012

      The Boys and Girls Club has violated the terms of its lease with the city, causing the city’s legal department to look into the matter, said Mayor Dawn Zimmer in recent interviews.

      Zimmer requested the club’s programming and financial records for the past ten years in a letter she wrote to Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hudson County Gary Greenberg last September. After receiving the club’s response, the mayor said this week that the city is "taking it to the next step."

      The city’s lease with the club also states that the club may "provide recreational facilities and cultural opportunities to the young," and the mayor has stated that the city does not intend to interfere with HoLa. In her letter, Zimmer wrote that "the city expects the rents associated with the HoLa sublease, and all other revenue received through a commercial use of the premises, be paid to the city, as it represents the property of Hoboken taxpayers."

      But Zimmer said it’s not about collecting the money. "It’s about making sure the tax dollars are being used for Hoboken residents," she said. The mayor added that she wants to make sure that children from Hoboken, rather than from other towns, benefit from the club's programming and resources.

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    3. “The Lessee … will not rent or lease the facility for commercial purposes without first obtaining City permission nor will any commercial activities be conducted at the facility,” states the lease.

      “There’s been concerns about mold, or if children are being pushed out, and getting proper meals,” Zimmer said. “I was disappointed to see Gary Greenberg quoted [in another news story] as saying they shifted from a full meal to Kool Aid and Rice Krispie treats. To me, that’s really disheartening and unacceptable…I’m looking to advocate for these children and make sure they’re being provided with proper programming.”

      Greenberg, who said the mold and droppings situation has since been taken care of, said the food switch was made consciously with the goals of the Club in mind.

      “We were serving hot meals but it was so complicated and took so long to prepare it, cook it, serve it, and clean it up that by the time the kids got done eating, they only had an hour left before they all go home,” he said. “We replaced it with a healthy snack. I was there [last week] and I saw them getting apples and string cheese. We’re working toward improving that so it would be as close to a hot meal as possible.”

      When asked about Kool Aid and Rice Krispie Treats, Greenberg said that the snacks change every day, and they try to make them healthy snacks.

      Greenberg added that the building doesn’t have a full size cafeteria.

      HoLa sometimes uses the kitchen, Greenberg confirmed, but he said it never conflicts with the Club’s activities.

      Read more: Hudson Reporter - City looks into Boys and Girls Club Mayor reviews details of annual 2 lease to check for violations

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  13. Anybody read the letter from the ignorant fool in the HR this weekend?
    Read more: Hudson Reporter - Hoboken school board s attack on Hola is unfair

    Jonathan Maguire wrote:
    "According to my calculations pooling data from each school’s report, the 966 students at the Hoboken City School District’s three elementary schools (Calabro, Wallace, and Connors) during the 2012-2013 school year were 71 percent economically disadvantaged, and 25 percent white. (Economically disadvantaged means eligible for free or reduced price meals based on family income.) "

    Racist much? So he is saying .......either your economically disadvantaged or your white... ignorant asshole.


    Also he decries the percentages at the hboe,14% avg. but doesnt do the same for HCS who rank 18%avg in the state?

    Doesnt care that the process followed to approve Hola was not legal,but uses the legal technicality of them following the lottery process to defend his 89%wealthy student population. Side note- if I am not mistaken not all of those 89% are white, doesn't that discount his assertion that one is either white or poor?

    Speaking of evading accountability how about Hola deal with its glaring population issues and transparency issues of hiring a sitting school board member for a paid postion in which she had no experience or credentials.

    This guy is so full of shite. He is a poster child for ignorant arrogance.


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  14. Is it true that the Spanish instruction is only 10% for 7th and 8th grade?

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    1. If that's true, then Hoboken High middle school students receive more Spanish instruction in their language classes than Hola. I think they offer French and Italian, too.

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  15. Leave it to a BoE/Charter school post to generate a MSV-level of comments! Thanks for exposing this Hola/Martinez hypocrisy, symbolic of a particular nasty and self-serving element that's made it's way into out fair city.

    I say let the crybabies walk, send the kids to some private schools in the suburbs...oh, wait a minute, that would mean they'd have to PAY TUITION for a private school education instead of having taxpayers foot the bill. Hmm, can't have that, oh no...

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  16. I don't beleive that most Hola parents even understand half of what goes on in their name. It seems the doing of their Board. I only know of Barbara, Petrosino and Raia. Couldnt name any others but this seems enough to steer them onto this course. They negotiate the deals, they run the school and they provide all the (mis) information to the parents. Barbara and Jen wanted a seperate school for their kids and Petrosino and Raia gave it to them. That is understandable. What is not understanadable or forgivable what they are willing to do to get it done. How do you justify the space and programs being removed from the B&G club kids. How do you not care about is the removable of funds from the publc schools serving the pooest kids? Hola has many of the richest familes in Hoboken and Barbara manages to turn them into victims every time.

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  17. HoLa could fix every problem being described in this thread and it still wouldn't change the fact that by occupying the Boys and Girls Club space, those programs for the most disadvantaged kids in Hoboken.

    Whatever back room deal was cut to rent this space to them should be reversed. The National Boys and Girls Club should be called in so that they understand how the program and its facility are being mismanaged in their name.

    HoLa students may or may not speak Spanish when they graduate, but what they will be fluent in are the languages of corrupt deals at the expense of children less fortunate than they, the misuse of public money and class warfare, all supported by their parents who chose to do this.

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  18. Anyone catch the heart tugging ad in the Reporter two weeks ago. They lined up their kids for a photo op begging the BOE to stop hating on them. Who ever hires Barbara as their spinmaster gets every penny worth.
    Too bad Boys & Girls Club Dir Garcia will never line HER kids up for a similar phot op asking for their programs back. oh right. She is also the HOLA After care director. Such shit!
    The whole thing is disgusting through and through.

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    1. A well run program run with integrity that delivers results wouldn't need spin. HoLa certainly doesn't qualify as a program that can be run without spin. The spin is all they have. All style, no substance.

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  19. There must be parents that used the after school program before Hola took over the club. Are they afraid to voice their dissatisfaction over the deal that deprived space and activities for their children? Could they be afraid that Carmelo would come after them?
    Of course they are. The Hudson Reporter or "Hola Reporter" should be put on notice that something is rotten in Hoboken.

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    1. Those children are now corralled at the Jubilee Center. Small space, no gym, and overcrowded. The children get a hot meal, though. You're right, Mr. Carmelo would certainly come after them if they complained. They pick up 14 at a time in a van behind Wallace on Clinton and drop them of at Jubilee. Do you think Hola parents would stand for that for their kids?

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  20. They should be able to speak up now. He is no longer E.D.

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  21. Who are they going to complain to? Mrs Garcia is the Dir of the Boys & Girls Club.

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  22. They could contact, the national organization of the B&G Club. They could also contact local media.

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  23. Does anyone know if anyone is currently paying this new fee? Are there any B&G programs there, since kids have been moved to the Jubilee Center.

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  24. That's a very good idea: writing to the national office of the B&G Club. If we could organize a letter writing campaign, we could make a difference! How many would like to join me? I'll post the address tomorrow unless someone beats me to it. Tell your friends, your neighbors, and family members. --Jessica Coco

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  25. Thought Hola only used the facility during the day,when the boys and girls club was not in use. Space must be an issue -no wonder, certain kids are being pushed out.

    http://holahoboken.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=20288955&pageId=20599864
    Hola Aftercare 2014-15
    Aftercare begins the first day of the 2014-15 school year on September 3, 2014. Aftercare is provided by members of our faculty and our aftercare staff. Aftercare begins at dismissal 2:50 PM and remains open until 6:00 PM.
    Enrollment Rate Sibling Rate 10% discount Free Lunch 50% discount Reduced Lunch 35% discount One Time Registration Fee
    Prepaid Yearly Full Time (M-F) $3150/year $2835/year $1575/year $2047.50/year $50
    Monthly Full Time (M-F) $350/month $315/month $175/month $227.50/month $50
    Hourly Rate $12/hour no discount $6/hour $7.80/hour $50

    or :

    Enrichment Care
    2013-14 Enrichment Classes
    Trimester I: September 30, 2013 – December 13, 2013 Enrichment I Fall 2013 Class Offerings
    Trimester II: January 13, 2014 – March 28, 2014 Enrichment II WINTER 2013
    Trimester III: April 7, 2014 – June 13, 2014 Enrichment III SPRING 2014

    CRAZY CHEMWORKS: All Grades – 3:00-4:00PM –Mad Science – ($175), 15 students



    Young Rembrandts EN ESPAÑOL:-Bilingual cartooning-Grades 3rd -6th– 3:00-4:00PM ($170), 16 students



    TUESDAY (10 classes held on: 9/30, 10/7, 10/14, 10/21, 10/28, 11/4, 11/11, 11/18, 12/2, 12/9) NO CLASS 11/25

    puppet making EN ESPAÑOL:Teatro Sea –All Grades – 3:00-4:00PM – ($150), 16 students



    CHOCOLATE CREATIONS: Grades K-1st – 3:00-4:00PM – ($140), 10 students

    CHESS: Beginner: All Grades – 3:00-4:00PM – School Plus Hudson – ($215), 10 students

    Young Rembrandts EN ESPAÑOL-bilingual drawing: -Grade K – 3:00-4:00PM –– ($170), 14 students

    Young Rembrandts EN ESPAÑOL-bilingual drawing: -Grades 1st -2nd – 3:00-4:00pm –– ($170), 14 students


    KEYBOARDING (Intermediate Typing Lessons): Grades-4th-6TH – 3:00-3:45PM – Marta Pizarro – ($100), 12 students


    CAPOEIRA: CAPOEIRA CULTURAL CENTER: Grades 3rd-6th –3:00-4:00PM-($175), 18 students



    CHOCOLATE CREATIONS: Grades 2ND-3RD – 3:00-4:00PM – ($140), 12 students


    THURSDAY (10 classes held on: 10/2, 10/9, 10/16, 10/23, 10/30, 11/6, 11/13, 11/20, 12/4, 12/11) NO CLASS 11/27

    CHESS (Intermediate): All Grades – 3:00-4:00PM – School Plus Hudson – ($215), 10 students


    CHOCOLATE CREATIONS: Grades 4TH -6TH – 3:00-4:00PM – ($140), 12 students


    Math wizard: Grades K-2ND - 3:00-4:00PM –Math Wizard – ($220), 8 students.


    ARABIC LANGUAGE CLASS: LEARN LANGUAGE HOBOKEN Grades 1ST-6TH – 3:00-4:00PM – ($220), 8 students


    FRIDAY (10 classes held on: 10/3, 10/10, 10/17, 10/24, 11/7, 11/14, 11/21, 12/5, 12/12, 12/19) NO CLASS 10/31 & 11/28

    VAMOS A BAILAR, LET’S DANCE!: ALL GRADES – 3:00-3:45PM –Alejandra Barerra Sapirstein- ($140), 15 students

    SEWING: Grades 1st-6th– 3:00-4:00PM – Megan Avery, M Avery Designs @ HoLa – ($180), 8 students


    Math wizard: Grades 3rd-6th- 3:00-4:00PM –Math Wizard – ($220), 8 students


    KEYBOARDING (Beginner Typing Lessons): Grades-3rd & 6th – 3:00-3:45PM – Marta Pizarro – ($100), 12 students

    MINING & CRAFTING WITH BRICKS FOR KIDZ @ HOLA:-ALL GRADES– 3:00-4:00PM ($180), 15 students

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    1. And then there are these course offerings, unique to Hola:

      FINANCIAL LITERACY FOR CHILDREN - or - HOW TO SWINDLE A BUILDING FROM THE CITY AND EVICT THE PROGRAMS FOR IMPOVERISHED AFRICAN-AMERICAN CHILDREN - EN ESPAÑOL All grades, every day, all day - ($220) + extra credit for paying with public funds

      MOMMY & ME & DADDY (& HIS MISTRESSES & BOYFRIENDS) - Bi-Cunnilingual All ages, cocktail hour (free)

      YOUNG DIPLOMATS CLUB - or - HOW TO SPEAK TO YOUR HOUSE CLEANER - EN ESPAÑOL Grades 3rd thru 6th 3:00-4:00PM (180 degrees).



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  26. How many members does the B&G Club have left? If there enrollment has declined, then what and how many official B&G club activities are they still providing?

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  27. The local chapters of the B&G clubs must be subject to some kind of oversight? What is required for their tax exempt status? Are they audited, reviewed? And by whom? You would think that increased fees paid would provide more services not less?

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  28. National Headquarters
    1275 Peachtree Street NE
    Atlanta, GA 30309-3506
    Phone: (404) 487-5700
    e-mail (general inquiries): info@bgca.org

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  29. GA, I would love to know who you contacted at the BGC that told you the fees you quote. You stole those numbers from an online FUNDRAISING website which cites the COSTS to provide these programs, not the FEES. Big difference. The truth is that the kids pay at most $15 a year and most pay nothing. Get your facts straight.

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    1. Nice attempt at a whitewash. I know the media's been sniffing around. Getting hot, Anon? As stated, the fees came directly from the HC B&G club, and I identified myself as a Hoboken resident. The article clearly says the numbers came from Razz.com FUNDRAISING page. Nothing was "stolen" from the public domain. Why do you want to know "who" gave me those fees-so you can harass them or get them fired?

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    2. I see a footnote in italics was ADDED at the bottom of the Razoo fundraiser page. Clearly reacting to this expose. Let them open their books. How many attend in hoboken now? What are they paying?

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