The Boys & Girls Club of the Harbor Area, which serves Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and Irvine, launched its annual fundraising campaign Tuesday with the goal of raising $110,000 in the next six weeks.
The campaign, "It Just Takes One," received its first donation — a $70,000 matching gift — from Newport Beach philanthropist David Pyle, according to a news release.
Pyle is the founder and chief executive of American Career College and the executive chairman of the board of West Coast University.
"We are beyond thrilled by [Pyle's] generosity and thank all of our friends at West Coast University and American Career College for supporting the crucial community resource that we provide," said Tammy Walz, chief executive of the Boys & Girls Club of the Harbor Area. "With this matching gift, supporters can triple their own donations to the campaign."
The Boys & Girls Club of the Harbor Area provides daily programs to 3,700 children and teens each year. It offers after-school programs that emphasize education and career enhancement, character and leadership development, health and life skills, arts and sports, the release stated.
Proceeds from the campaign will go toward funding the after-school programs, which play an important role in keeping children out of trouble, Walz said.
A recent study conducted by Columbia University shows that children who are not in after-school programs are more likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol than their peers, according to the release.
"In today's society, there are a lot of choices out there for kids to make," Walz said. " We want to make sure they are making the right choices."