LAFAYETTE — Kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Acadiana’s J.W. Faulk Elementary School location quickly made use of the pool, air hockey, ping pong and foosball tables donated recently by the Police Association of Lafayette.
“They are excited,” said Nesta Gross, program director for the recently opened location. “They’ve already started making a list for pool tournaments.”
Cpl. Paul Mouton, vice president of the Police Association and a spokesman for the Lafayette Police Department, said the equipment was delivered a little over a week ago, and was purchased for just under $2,000.
Director Adrian Giron said the children were thrilled when the equipment arrived.
The new location, which has been in place since April, is serving as a pilot project between the Boys & Girls Club and the Lafayette Parish School System.
The club serves 120 children during its summer program, Giron said. During the school year, the club offers an after-school program.
“I’m happy,” Gross said. “It’s our first year being inside the school system. When we started we didn’t have hardly any equipment.”
This is the first time the Police Association has donated directly to the Boys & Girls Club, Mouton said.
The association’s goal was to donate something tangible that would be of immediate use, Mouton said.
Normally, the association holds a turkey giveaway during Thanksgiving, Santa Cop during Christmas and a bicycle giveaway for children who have had their bicycles stolen, Mouton said.
“I think this is just the beginning of a new relationship,” Mouton said.
The Boys & Girls Club was selected because of its commitment to helping youth in the community, Mouton said.
The Police Association’s goal is to help build relationships between people and the Police Department, said Lafayette police Sgt. Monte Potier, who serves as the association’s treasurer.
Potier said the association hopes to make many more donations like this in the future.
“As long as the kids are happy, then we’re ecstatic,” Potier said.