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AT&T checking in with  Boys & Girls Club of Elgin

Josh Campanelli (left) president Boys   Girls Club board chats with Jaci Kator AT T state Rep. Keith Farnham

Josh Campanelli (left), president of the Boys & Girls Club board, chats with Jaci Kator of AT&T and state Rep. Keith Farnham, D-Elgin, about how funds will be used at the Elgin club prior to the official check passing. 1/17/13 | Janelle Walker~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: February 19, 2013 3:01PM

ELGIN — Josh Campanelli got involved with the Boys & Girls Club in Elgin five years ago — after constructing its building.

He was the project manager when Lamp Inc. built the facility at 355 Dundee Ave., replacing a house that had been the club’s home since in 1990s. While working on the new building, he saw the excitement in neighborhood children’s eyes at the new building they would be able to use after school.

Campanelli, now president of the board for the Boys & Girls Club of Elgin, was on hand Thursday to pick up a check from AT&T’s Jaci Kator, part of the telecommunications company’s “Investing In Illinois” award. The $1,000 check will help support many of the programs offered by the club, Campanelli said.

“This will go to our general fund for all of the programs at our clubhouse,” Campanelli said. “Our children attendance is very high, and we have been serving more and more kids.”

On the funding side, money has been down in recent years due to the hard economy, he added. He appreciated state Rep. Keith Farnham, D-Elgin, who brought the Boys & Girls Club to the attention of Kator and AT&T.

“We had a conversation in my office, that AT&T was looking for an organization they could help,” Farnham said. The club “does a lot of outreach in the community and do a good job. They are always looking for help.”

While donations are always appreciated, Campanelli said, volunteer help is always needed. For every hour that a volunteer can put in — from riding with students on the after-school bus to working with students at a club — that is one less hour of staff time that must be spent.

“We serve 1,500 youth and young people in Elgin,” and help is always needed, he said.

He was on the site daily five years ago as the new center was constructed. He saw students who were very excited to get into the new building.

“They would drive by and call out, all excited to come to an improved center,” he said.

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