A cloud of suspicion casting shadows on Boys and Girls Club

As explanations go this one simply did nothing to allay public suspicions from the start.
In other words, the explanation from the Mountaineer Boys & Girls Club for its sudden closure this summer raised a lot of questions that remain unanswered.
In mid-July, the parents of about 150 children learned on a Monday afternoon the facility would not be open the rest of the week — without any explanation.
Two days later parents learned the club would not reopen until school started this week — with no explanation.
Then, last week, members learned the site would remain closed this fall and you guessed it — without a word as to exactly what’s happened and why.
Our newspaper’s efforts to learn what caused the closure of the former Woodburn School site has only met vague, seemingly “secretive” reasons for this action.
This response from the BGCA in turn has only led to supposition and rumors that probably paint a far more unfavorable picture of what happened than what actually did.
Yes, as reported, the national organization cited the need for “several operational improvements,” including some “operational enhancements will be safety related.”
The national club also declared the closure was designed “to give the organization (Mountaineer BGCA) the opportunity to meet membership requirements …” A member of the local club’s board of directors also said the future of the club’s leadership is under discussion.
Many like to think that any response is instantly worthy of respect as any skeptical view on this subject.
We don’t buy that notion, especially when an organization, especially one that deals with children, is playing cat and mouse with the public about why it unexpectedly closed.
The local club is obligated to inform parents whose children are enrolled there and the public what suddenly made this club unsafe or unable to maintain its summer programming at Woodburn.
Furthermore, what “operational enhancements” are necessary, especially those pertaining to safety, and explain the lacking communications with parents and the community.
The Boys & Girls Club of America is tax-exempt and partially funded by the federal government. Locally, the Mountaineer club also gets United Way funding and additional funding from Morgantown and Monongalia County.
That should potentially mandate it being open about such issues as this one, however, a private nonprofit is not subject to Freedom of Information Act requests. Which allows for it to ensure its finances and operations stay private.
Still, to ensure accountability it’s always in the best interests of every nonprofit to be open about its finances and operations to remain above public suspicion.
Which the Mountaineer BGCA no longer is due to its reluctance to explain its actions.

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