VISTA — The Boys & Girls Club of Vista had a huge surprise on Feb. 7. Inside the gym, the kids cheered as CEO Matt Koumaras accepted checks from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #7041, American Legion Post #365 and the Military Order of the Cooties Pup Tent #40.
The donations are part of an ongoing fundraising campaign for a new roof. The heavy rains in January left behind roof damage at the Vista Boys & Girls Club.
The VFW and American Legion each gifted $2,000 while the Military Order of the Cooties gave $500.
Terry Moxley, from the American Legion Post #365, said as soon as his organization learned of the water damage they moved into action.
“We’re primarily a veteran-based service organization,” he said. “The Boys & Girls Club needed some help, and we were able to do it.”
Joseph Watt from the American Legion described their organization as very giving.
Bruce Mackamul of the VFW Post presented two checks. One from the VFW, and its other unit the Military Order of the Cootie Pup Tent.
Koumaras explained how the building’s rock roof was built in the 1960s.
“After the big rain in January, all the rocks and water went into a drainage pipe and broke in the middle of the night and flooded a preschool that rents out our building and our game room at the Club,” Koumaras said.
A total of 44 kids from Educational Enrichment Systems were affected. They had to find a temporary relocation at Olive Elementary. Koumaras said new floors are underway at the preschool and new cabinets and a ceiling were installed.
He added the club kids are resilient — they thought it was cool that they’d do homework out on the baseball field.
At the club, the game room was first to reopen. Repairs at the club are scheduled to start next week, he said.
Koumaras explained that while their insurance covered the repairs for the roof, it is 50-plus years old. Over time, the roof has been patched on numerous occasions — now it’s time for a new roof estimated at 18,000 square foot.
“We’re still accepting bids, but the prices are ranging from $100,000 to $300,000, which is a lot for us to raise,” he said, adding they also have a GoFundMe page that has raised more than $1,000.
To learn more about the new roof fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Vista, visit https://www.gofundme.com/raise-the-roof-for-the-bgc-of-vista.