STOCKTON (CBS13) — The Boys and Girls Club of America may be making a return to Stockton in the near future.
A community advisory council was formed between the Lodi and Stanislaus County Boys and Girls Clubs. Their aim is to restore the organization in Stockton.
“When the Boys and Girls Club was here there were more people in the park more activities,” said Cynthia Torres.
She says she grew up in the Boys and Girls Club of Stockton and had her daughter enrolled for several years.
“They do arts and crafts, they provide lunches, they take them swimming,” said Torres, “they have a lot of good things.”
But in 2013 the club lost its charter while under the control of former Mayor Anthony Silva. He admitted to turning down grant money to avoid being audited.
The club, still under Silva, was later renamed the Stockton Kids Club, but funding and services were cut.
“I just have to find people that I know like family members or friends that I know can take care of my daughter,” explained Torres.
Now a working mother herself, Torres says it’s been a struggle to find summer and after school care.
“This is an organization that is deeply missed by the residents of Stockton,” said Veronica Jacuinde, with the Stanislaus County Boys and Girls Club.
She says the need is evident in Stockton.
“These are economically and social-economically challenged environments and these young people will really benefit greatly from the programming and enrichment services we provide,” said Jacuinda.
Boys and girls club leadership from nearby Stanislaus County and Lodi are now partnering to streamline operations and grow.
“The goal is to restore services again in Stockton,” said Jacuinde.
It’s a potentially positive change to neighborhoods hoping for good news.
“Going to see a lot of people getting into positive things instead of all the negative things,” said Torres, about the potential of a Boys and Girls Club opening in town.
Jacuinde says they are looking for a facility and location to make expansion possible in Stockton. No timeline for when an announcement would be made was given.
Meanwhile, Anthony Silva is fighting legal troubles. He’s pleaded not guilty to embezzling money from the kids club.