Gaming funds aid Boonville charities

More than a half dozen charitable organizations in Boonville benefited from funds donated to the city by the Isle of Capri during the 2012-2013 fiscal year. Each year as part of the distribution process, Boonville takes applications from charities such as the Boonslick YMCA, Boonslick Industries Recycling Center and Neighbors Helping Neighbors. Each organization has its own mission statement and its own distinct financial needs. Receiving funds one year does not guarantee funds the next. The Boonslick YMCA provides dozens of programs for the community and surrounding area. “Our goal,” said Assistant Director Vanessa Dorman, “is to provide services to everyone.” Many of the programs are sports related. There's T-ball, softball, baseball, basketball, volley ball, soccer, futsal (indoor soccer) and swimming. In other communities, these programs are provided by parks and recreation departments. The Y also provides after school care, swimming lessons and summer camp. Scholarships are available for those who qualify. Indoor batting cages are available and a family room provides pool and ping pong. Aquatics are another big part of the Y. Life guards who work at the facility are trained at the Y as well as about 90 percent of the life guards at the city pool. Kit Brewer, recycling manager at Boonslick Industries Recycling Center, shared these comments about the importance of the gaming funds. “The gaming funds are very important to Boonslick Industries Recycling Center. We provide the largest recycling service in Cooper County, and have a waiting list of businesses who want to get on our pickup schedule. The gaming funds allow us to purchase large collection bins and smaller multi-gallon recycling containers so we can continue to expand our services. “BI's Recycling Center provides local businesses with the ability to recycle their cardboard, paper goods and plastic, metal, and glass food and beverage containers. Boonville schools and municipal buildings also recycle with Boonslick Industries. And Boonville citizens are able to use our drop off locations for their recycling. Last year alone, more than 2.4 million pounds of recycled material was diverted from area trash containers and the landfill. “Boonslick Industries Recycling contributes to the local economy. We don't charge the city, our customers or the public for our services. As we expand our recycling collections, we are able to provide more job opportunities and training for individuals with disabilities and we are able to hire more employees. We have been fortunate that we have been able to combine our mission of providing supports and opportunities for people with disabilities with a business that benefits the community, the local economy and the environment.” Neighbors Helping Neighbors, also known as the food pantry, is another organization that benefits from gaming funds. After completing a qualifying application, families can come once a month for food based on the number of people in their household. Distribution is done three times a month: the second Tuesday morning, the third Thursday evening and the fourth Saturday. Board member Louise Bolin said, “We helped over 300 families in November and December 2012. Both months were all time highs.” When asked what would happen if they lost the gaming funds, Bolin said, “It wouldn't shut us down, but we wouldn't be able to provide for as many families.”