Boys & Girls Club

As children and organization officials look on, Dan Healey uses a paintbrush to update the fundraising thermometer Wednesday after donating $100,000 to the Boys & Girls Club in Salisbury. The club officials, from left, are founder Dick Flaherty, Executive Director Jim Keenan and board President Gary Rawnsley.

SALISBURY — The Boys & Girls Club of Lower Merrimack Valley is closing in on its $1 million capital campaign goal, thanks in part to a $100,000 donation from ARC Technologies founder Dan Healey.

The Maple Street club serves more than 1,000 children in Greater Newburyport and launched its “A Vision For Their Future” capital campaign in late 2019.

Healey made the trip to the club Wednesday to update the fundraising thermometer, using a paintbrush and red paint to mark off $860,000 of the $1 million goal.

“This organization is so needed in this area, not only in Salisbury but Amesbury and Newburyport and the rest of the area,” Healey said. “It has always been one of my favorite organizations. I remember using the Y when I was a kid in Haverhill. So it is very near and dear to my heart.”

Club Executive Director Jim Keenan, board of directors President Gary Rawnsley and the club’s founder, Dick Flaherty, joined Healey for the celebration.

“We are very thankful to Dan for helping us get pretty close to our campaign goal,” Rawnsley said. “He has been a great steward of the community and we had the opportunity to connect through Dick Flaherty. We brought him over to the club, showed him what we have been doing here for over 20 years and, obviously, that was a good connection.”

The capital campaign’s goal is to raise $300,000 to fund scholarships for financially challenged members; another $300,000 for a permanent endowment; and $400,000 to upgrade the former Salisbury Elementary School at 18 Maple St., which the club calls home. Keenan said the club also received a recent $10,000 donation from an undisclosed individual and will begin renovating its gymnasium.

“We will be moving on that rather quickly,” he said. “We have already ordered brand-new floor.”

The club also expects to install four glass backboards on its basketball court.

“We might be the only club left in Massachusetts that does not have a glass backboard in its gymnasium,” Keenan said.

Newbury contractor Bob Connors donated the time, materials and a crew that built a secure main lobby and entrance for the club in late 2020. Newburyport Bank donated $50,000 for the lobby’s new storefront and secure door. Keenan said the club also received a $100,000 donation from the Institution for Savings; $60,000 from Castagna Construction Corp. founder Ralph Castagna; $60,000 from SPS CEO and Chairman Wayne Capolupo; and $45,000 from BankProv.

“These guys have passion,” Healey said. “When I see the kids here, I see not only the need but I can see the love for it. They have a need here but they have a love for it as well.”

The club’s website: www.bgclmv.org.

Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at jsullivan@newburyportnews.com or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.

Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at jsullivan@newburyportnews.com or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.

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