Nova Scotia

Youth club targets ex-Pier residents

A fundraising campaign for the Whitney Pier Youth Club has begun with a donation from a federal politician who grew up in the neighbourhood.

A fundraising campaign for the Whitney Pier Youth Club has begun with a donation from a federal politician who grew up in the neighbourhood.

Labour Minister Lisa Raitt was in Sydney on Monday to present a $1,000 cheque.

The new internet campaign is targeted at people like Raitt who have left the area.

"How do you ensure there's going to be enough money next month, six months from now or a year from now to keep the place open?" said Joe Menchefski, a board member.

More than 100 children use the 16-year-old club every day. The group receives government funding for its programs but no money to pay for the staff needed to run them. The club relies on fundraising for half of its $235,000 yearly budget.

Raitt said she'll champion the cause to her colleagues in Ottawa.

"If I'm asked I will absolutely tell them that this is the right place to put funding into a community in the next round of applications," she said.

Steven Campbell thinks it's a good cause. He's been going to the club since he was six years old.

"It keeps us off the streets from drugs, alcohol, whatever," said Campbell.

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