The Lawton/Fort Sill Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club kicked off their fourth annual Adopt-A-Child campaign. The fundraising campaign was created to ensure many boys and girls have a safe, fun and stimulating environment to learn and grow as members of the community.

Lieutenant Israel Roseno of the Salvation Army held a conference to inform community members about the campaign.

"We are pleased to be in the fourth year of what has become an annual campaign," Roseno said. "The Adopt-A-Child program creates sponsorship opportunities for individuals, families and businesses to help provide a child the opportunity, life changing programs."

According to Roseno, the campaign raised little over $30,000 and this year they have set a goal of $40,000 for this year.

"Our fees are very low at the Boys & Girls Club; we have a very nice gym, a weight room, a computer lab and we help kids with their school homework," Roseno said. "The last thing we want to do is go to the parents and tell them we have to raise our fees."

The Club offers a place to shape the minds of both boys and girls to build leadership skills, participate in numerous activities and learn positive life skills.

"We ask for the community's help with this fundraiser because we can't do it by ourselves, it's impossible," Roseno said. "This club belongs to the community."

A donation of $300 can help a child participate in the Boys & Girls club for one year. Roseno states that donations of any size are welcome during the campaign.

During the conference, the girls of the club's dance program gave a performance. They also read some of their essays on why they thought the Boys & Girls Club was cool. The girls also got a chance to meet Lawton Police Chief James Smith.

"Each and every day I read reports how there is nothing for kids to do and how bad kids are in the community," Smith said. "I also see the good side, the boys and girls club offers excellent opportunity to the children for not only this community but also nationwide."

Chief Smith also told the children that as the future of the nation, it is up to them to learn so that one day they can become the next generation of leaders. He even remarked that one day, one of them could be the next police chief.

"It is important to teach our children the basic values of going to class, studying, doing our homework; it is important to teach those values of work ethic," Smith said.

Smith also praised how the Boys & Girls Club helps the children get ready for the world in terms working with others.

The fundraising campaign will run from March 7 to April 18 and donations can be delivered to the Boys & Girls Club located at 1315 SW F Ave.

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