Town commissioners have agreed to restore funding for two local nonprofits for the coming year, after leaders of the Wake Forest Boys & Girls Club decried a plan that would have eliminated money from the town.
Members of the Wake Forest Board of Commissioners said at a meeting on June 4 that they would add to the draft budget $7,500 for the Boys & Girls Club and $4,000 for the Birthplace Society, a nonprofit that owns and operates the Wake Forest Historical Museum.
Former town manager Mark Williams, who crafted the proposed budget before he retired in April, left the two groups out of the funding pool. Like other towns, Wake Forest regularly gives money to nonprofits.
“The town cannot and should not be expected to fund every outside group request, no matter how worthwhile their mission is,” Williams wrote in the budget summary.
Last year, the town gave money to five groups: Resources for Seniors, which operates the Northern Wake Senior Center; the local Chamber of Commerce, the Birthplace Society; the Boys & Girls Club; and the Fourth of July committee.
The town now plans to give money to the same groups this year, bringing the total contribution to about $125,000. That’s about $4,000 more than last year.
Representatives of the Wake Forest Boys & Girls Club attended a public hearing on the proposed budget on May 19.
Michael Glover, a member of the group’s board of directors, told commissioners the Wake Forest club is the largest in Wake County, with about 1,000 children participating.
Commissioner Greg Harrington said the group’s mission is important, and he pushed to restore funding.
“They’re teaching these kids responsibilities, and they’re going to be the leaders tomorrow,” Harrington said. “You really have to send them in the right direction and support them in some way.”
Under the proposed budget, most groups would receive the same amount of money they got from the town last year.
The Birthplace Society received $6,000 last year. Most of the money from the town helps maintain the Wake Forest Historical Museum, said museum director Ed Morris.
The budget plan calls for giving a total of $113,740 to the Fourth of July committee, which plans and organizes the town’s Independence Day celebration, and to the Chamber of Commerce and Resources for Seniors.
The Fourth of July committee would receive $11,240 in the coming year, up from $5,000 last year. Committee members have said they need more money to cover rising costs for the event.
Under the proposed budget, Wake Forest wouldn’t fund two nonprofits that applied for money. Guiding Lights, a caregiver support organization, asked the town for $4,000, and Big Brothers Big Sisters asked for $5,000.
Commissioners will vote on a final budget by July 1.