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Club director hopes to be an inspiration

January 11, 1998

by Ric Dugan / staff photographer

Club director hopes to be an inspiration

By CLYDE FORD

Staff Writer, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Tim Grove remembers how coaches influenced his life when he was growing up and playing on different sports teams.

They gave encouraging words and pats on the back. Maybe without even realizing it, they helped shape his life and guide him.

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"All my life I've had coaches ... who inspired me. Hopefully I can pass on a helping hand or a listening ear like those coaches did for me," Grove said.

Grove is the first executive director of the newly formed Boys and Girls Club of Jefferson County.

In his position, he's surrounded by about 50 children each afternoon, all wanting him to join them in kickball, dodgeball, Ping-Pong, checkers or the board game Clue.

"We're very fortunate to have Tim. He's hit the ground running," said Maureen Theriault, president of the Boys and Girls Club board.

The Boys and Girls Club opened Dec. 5 with 12 children in the temporary location at the Zion Episcopal Church Parish House. The group has grown quickly and now has 73 members and more are signing up daily, Grove said.

The club hopes to move into the former Maytag building in June.

In the meantime, there is fund-raising to conduct, additional volunteers to sign up, sports equipment and books to find, and programs to hold, Grove said.

More than $25,000 has to be raised, Theriault said.

"My message to everybody is 'send money,'" Theriault said.

The Boys and Girls Club membership costs $3 a year, Grove said. For the children who cannot afford it, arrangements can be made, he said.

Grove, 28, lives in Winchester, Va. He graduated from Shepherd College with a degree in sports administration. He's worked for recreation councils and youth leagues in Frederick, Md., Baltimore County and Winchester.

When he's not working with children at his job, he has children waiting for him at home.

Grove is married and has two stepchildren and his wife is expecting a child in July.

The Boys and Girls Club is open from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

"It's pretty cool," said Jessica Sill, 12, of Charles Town, who likes to play basketball. "I'd probably be at home talking on the phone and bored."

In addition to the games, the club wants to have programs through which children go to the local library, or take ballet or karate instruction from volunteers, Grove said.

"We want to complement what the schools are doing. We want things kids can do to expand their horizon," Theriault said.

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