Local philanthropist Jim Willox saw a need to help Douglas Youth Hockey Association and the Boys and Girls Club – two groups trying to build new facilities. So he jumped in, devised a plan to do just that and, now, get government officials to buy in even deeper.
Willox this month asked the Douglas City Council and Converse County Commission to cover two-thirds of the costs of the two new buildings, even as the B&G Club broke ground earlier this month and the hockey association is hoping to start work soon.
In the past few years, the DYHA and BAGC have increased membership from 100 to 300. Willox, long known for successfully raising funds for area non-profits and specifically for the Converse County Hospital Foundation, asked for their support for his plan . . . and they gladly gave it.
Earlier this month, Willox made his pitch to the governments to cover $5 million of the $7.5 million total cost for both projects. Both groups have raised money privately to cover the rest.
“It affects the community, not just the two clubs,” Willox said.
His proposed budget basically expects each to split the cost three ways. During his comments to the city and county, Willox stressed asking a private source to fund community projects wasn’t common.
County Commissioner Jim Willox – son of Jim Willox – sat out of the county proposal and discussion, as his father presenting was seen as a conflict of interest.