The brand-new Boys and Girls Club of the Perris Valley received a fresh set of wheels thanks to a partnership between the City, Riverside County and the Riverside Transit Agency.
Perris City Councilman Julio Rodriguez and Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley were among the dignitaries at a ceremony in which the non-profit organization took possession of the 2008 15-passenger bus.
The vehicle also can accommodate up to three wheelchairs.
The bus will be used to take the 100 5 to 17-year-old children to and from sporting, educational and cultural events throughout Perris and surrounding unincorporated communities. The vehicle also will be used to transport children to and from after-school tutoring classes at Lakeside Middle School, where the Boys and Girls Club shares a campus classroom.
“This is a very needed opportunity for our children,” said Jackie Ramos, chief executive officer of the Boys and Girls Club. “I’m very excited. This program and this bus are going to serve a lot of very deserving youngsters.”
Ramos said the idea of a local Boys and Girls Club grew out of comments from members of a newly formed Neighborhood Watch group in Perris’ May Ranch community. The youth group quickly swelled to 100 members and Ramos said she expects its continued growth. The group plans a fund-raiser in May to gather financial support for future activities.
Rodriguez said he was pleased to partner with the county and Riverside Transit Agency,
“As a Perris City Councilmember, I am always thankful when we can forge partnerships that improve the lives of our residents,” Rodriguez said.
Ashley contributed $40,000 from his discretionary funding to launch the Perris Boys and Girls Club. He said the organization will open up a variety of activities and programs that some children otherwise would not experience.
“Some kids can’t go to museums, parks or community activities because they have no means of transportation,” he said. “This gives them mobility. They’ve got wheels!”