The Capital Area Boys and Girls Club in Pierre is open, though the new, two-story building is still in final preparations for full use.

A donation of two side-by-side Samsung refrigerators and two smooth-top ranges has been given by Club alumni Wally Rhunke, owner of Karl’s TV and Appliance in Pierre, on July 28. Still on the club’s ‘wish list’ of necessary items are stainless steel preparation tables, range hoods and the gamut of smaller and hand-held kitchen appliances and cooking equipment.

Currently operating under summer hours Monday through Friday, the club works with approximately 25 youth in the morning — 7:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., and approximately 30 youth in the afternoon — 12:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Starting Aug. 20, the fall hours are Monday through Friday, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., working with 180-some kids each day. The club works with youth within a 50 mile radius of Pierre.

The location of the new building is where the old, one-story building was, 110 S. Ree St. in Pierre, just southeast of the baseball diamonds, south of Capital Lake. For children to attend the Boys and Girls Club this fall, packet pickup is Aug. 7, and the packets are due for return Aug. 14.

A by-invitation-only open house is set for Aug. 10, 11 and 12. Eventually, once the COVID-19 situation improves, an open house for the general public will be scheduled. Volunteers — also known as “youth development specialists,” who must be at least 16 years old — are already trained and helping with the younger youth.

“We have mask regulations, depending on where the kids, volunteers and other staff are, such as inside or outside, and depending on the space in any classroom or larger room,” said club assistant director Samson Boutchee said.

Leon Schochenmaier is building project liaison to the Capital Area Counseling Services (CACS) board of directors. Becky Spoehr is the director of the Capital Area Boys and Girls Club, and has been working at the Club since August 2010. Amy Iversn-Pollreisz is the club’s CEO. Tiffany Sanchez is the president of the club’s board of directors, which consists of nine members.

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