Making The Right Connections

Atlas Partners With Central Florida Community For New Boys & Girls Club

Amy R. Connolly, Writer
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Sometimes all it takes to create a landslide is a little nudge.

In the case of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, the club’s new location came about because of an introduction and community partnerships.

For years, local leaders had known that the city of Oviedo, about 15 miles northeast of Orlando, needed a safe and supportive place for at-risk youth in the area.

The nudge came when an Oviedo city council member introduced Boys & Girls Club officials to leadership at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church. The church owned a building in town that it hoped to use for its youth programs one day.

The landslide happened when the community stepped in to provide extensive renovations to the building. Atlas Roofing, through ABC Supply Co. in Tavares, FL, donated materials to ensure that the new club would have a secure roof overhead.

Betsy Owens, vice president of marketing and community relations for Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, said the new club is being built on generosity, like the Atlas donation.

“We’re so grateful to all the community partners who have collaborated to bring this club to fruition,” she said. “Atlas’ donation will help provide a safe harbor for children in our community who need us most.”

While the work is ongoing today, the push to help local children started years ago. Oviedo City Councilmember Jeff Chudnow, who is also the city’s retired police chief, said he’s known for years that area young people needed after-school and summer programs. He made the introductions between the church and club leadership.

“Every school in Oviedo is an A school, and every school has students that are struggling,” Chudnow told Spectrum News 13. “By giving them [the] opportunity [for] extra tutoring, to have that extra mentoring, to give them a place to go after school, is extremely important.”

The facelift to the 2,400-square-foot building, which was once a community food pantry and grocery store, includes a new 32-square Atlas roof installed with:

When completed in 2020, the Oviedo location will feature a computer lab, teen and youth game rooms, learning centers, a kitchen and a large outdoor space. The plan is to serve 60 students, initially, with an eye on possible expansion.

Like all other Boys & Girls Clubs across the United States, the club will provide tutoring, mentoring and social activities for children ages 6 to 18, many from low-income households.

Josh Eaker, Atlas territory sales rep for Central Florida, said watching the project come to fruition has been gratifying.

“Atlas is honored to partner with ABC Supply of Tavares to help provide a new roof for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida,” he said. “Our goal has always been to help the community where we work and live. We are so thankful for the opportunity to give back.”