BEND, Ore. -

Effective September 1, the Boys & Girls Club of Central Oregon (BGCCO) will separate into two independent organizations, Redmond/Terrebonne and Bend, the organization announced Thursday.

"The decision to make the change was made with the goal of widening the family outreach of the two organizations and localizing fundraising efforts," Thursday's announcement said.

Here's the rest of that news release:

"By operating independently, our Board of Directors believes that the two local organizations can better focus on strategic planning, financial sustainability, and fund development," says Jim Schell, current BGCCO Chairman of the Board.

The organizations will continue to operate out of the same club sites. The leadership in both clubs will continue to deliver their daily and summer programs to all Central Oregon kids and families. There will be no interruption in service, either throughout this summer or beginning the next school year.

"We see this separation as a huge opportunity for the two communities to support their own kids,” says Nicole MacTavish, principal of Redmond High School and current BGCCO board member.

"We are confident our Redmond/ Terrebonne community will rally and invest while bringing together all facets to support these kids and families we love," MacTavish added.

Redmond Club leaders and staff, along with local volunteers, Joanne Sutherland, Ed Onimus, and Paul Rodby are working on a partnership with Mike McIntosh, Superintendent of Redmond School District and the Community Schools and After School Programs, seeking to blend the two in order to be more resourceful and create greater efficiency.

The Bend Club, according to Schell, will focus on developing deeper and more meaningful partnerships with Bend Park and Recreation District and the Bend LaPine-Schools.

“The three of us have the same mission of serving kids,” Schell said, “but each of us has our own niche within that mission. We believe by working more closely together we can fill whatever gaps exist and make sure that every Bend kid is served.”

“I have been in contact with the Boys & Girls Club board as the plans for this separation have developed,” says Ken Wilhelm, Executive Director of United Way of Deschutes County. “I have confidence in the process they have undertaken and the United Way looks forward to working with both the Bend and the Redmond/Terrebone organizations.”

For inquiries, contact Jim Schell at jschell@bgcco.org or Steven Bryant at sbryant@redmond-lawyers.com