Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Rotary Club Pavilion Makes an Impact on Day It's Unveiled to the Public

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Rotary Club Pavilion Makes an Impact on Day It's Unveiled to the Public

Article excerpt

Byline: SANDY STRICKLAND

The recent unveiling of an Arlington pavilion proved to be a good test run. As a light drizzle fell, attendees stayed snug and dry. And that was the intent.

The Rotary Club of Arlington constructed and donated the 6,000-square-foot pavilion to the Woodland Acres Boys & Girls Club at 191 Pecan St. to protect users from the sun and rain. Already, the pavilion, which has a basketball court, is making an impact.

"It's big enough that it draws attention from the neighborhood and its kids," said Rotarian Bill Cesery, adding that the pavilion can be used for sports and programs year-round, including the summer shower season.

Before, the area was an open basketball court. During the summer, members also did their morning exercises on the court.

"The kids would complain because it was so hot outside," said Jamila Green, program director.

Now they can do them under the shelter. The club serves children ranging from 6 to 18, but most participants have been under 16, Green said.

That's changing since completion of the pavilion. With the addition of night basketball games, more high school students have been signing up, and about 30 teams are playing there now, Green said.

"Woodland Acres is becoming known as a place to go out, have fun and stay out of trouble," she said.

And that's important in an area where more than 94 percent live in low-income households, 48 percent with children are headed by a single mother, 45 percent of adults lack a high school diploma and 44 percent of children live below the poverty level, club officials said. The club offers programs dealing with character, leadership, education, careers, health and life skills, arts, sports, fitness and recreation.

Green said the pavilion is particularly needed because the clubhouse is small.

Unit director LeVasiyea Haslem said it's hard to get kids off the court. Besides basketball, they play street hockey and volleyball under the pavilion. …

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