Fundraising efforts in full swing to Garrard Center Girls, Inc.

Fundraising efforts in full swing to Garrard Center Girls, Inc.

COLUMBUS GA - A south Columbus staple for girls that's on the verge of closing its doors has parents and a city leader in a mad dash to raise big bucks to keep it open.

New Leader 9's Roslyn Giles stopped by the facility Wednesday and saw more than 65 girls in attendance—engaging in cup stacking, brushing up on computer skills and sewing.

Like their parents, they too are hoping the doors to their home away from home will stay open.

"It's tragic because Baker is already a big center and if Garrard does close those girls would come to Baker."

Paris Lewis, 15, has been a constant member of Girls Inc., for 6 years. Paris said she knows the benefits and convenience of a having a center in right in your backyard.

Parents and Columbus Councilor Bruce Huff are joining forces to raise $100,000 to offset the budget shortfall.

"There are other people we are reaching out to in this community to try to bring on board because they could raise this money overnight," stated Huff of District 3.

Huff said $100,000 is a lot for this particular group of parents, but it's not a lot for this community. "I've also seen the city raise 5, 10, 15, $20 million dollars in a short period of time.

It's unclear how much money has been raised since the board of directors and the parents hashed out an agreement to come up with the money on May 15th. The agreement includes raising $100,000 for five years with a 3 percent increase annually.

But the fundraising efforts are on social media with Facebook posts asking for donations to save the Garrard center--one that' helping to shape and mold the lives of young people.

On Saturday, the center is holding a March and open house at the Garrard Girls Inc., Center on Clover Lane from 11 – 5 p.m. If you would like to donate to the center, contact Councilor Bruce Huff at 706-322-8713.

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