New building to provide more room for merchandise
submitted by Scott Bader, Club for Boys executive director
Student Jimmy McBride is certain that the skills he honed at the Rapid City Club for Boys Thrift Store will help him as he graduates from high school in May and heads off to college.
“It’s taught me a lot of life skills,” said the Central High School senior who has learned job and life skills at the Club for Boys since he was 12.
The fact that the Thrift Store will move to a new location this year, opening the door for financial growth and enhanced programming for Club participants, is bittersweet for McBride, who plans to attend Black Hills State University to study psychology.
“I’m really excited,” he said of the improvements, which comes as the Club continues a yearlong celebration of being in and of the Rapid City community for 50 years. “I can’t believe how big the new store is going to be.”
The current store, located next to the Club for Boys on North 4th Street, has been in operation for more than two decades. It’s convenient, but they’ve outgrown it, said executive director Scott Bader.
The Club signed a purchase agreement for the building located across from the fairgrounds on Cambell Street last week. The building was owned by McKie Automotive Group owners Steve Kalkman, Ross McKie and Mark McKie. The building is twice as large as the current store and the lot provides better parking—assets Bader hopes will translate into more customers, and more support, for the store.
“The community’s been extremely generous with their donations in the past,” said Bader. “We’re hoping that spirit of giving will continue.”
Kalkman, who also serves on the Club for Boys board, said the building is the perfect fit because of its location, size and potential for growth. The Club, he added, is like no other organization in the community because of its mission and its ability to generate a portion of its own revenue through the Thrift Store.
“The store and the Club fit so many needs in our community,” Kalkman said.
The Club for Boys, which provides recreation, guidance and education programming to hundreds of boys in Rapid City between the ages of 6 and 17, relies on the Thrift Store for 21% of their operations budget. The remainder comes from a combination of grants, community donations, fundraisers, and support from the Club for Boys Foundation.
The new building is partially paid for, Bader said, and the Club will continue to fundraise this year to raise the over $600,000 in additional funds that are needed for remodeling and moving to the new location.
“The Thrift Store is one of the things that separates us from a lot of other non-profits,” Bader said. “It’s a creative way for our organization to help raise funds to meet our annual operating budget needs, offer a place of employment for our boys, and provide basic necessities and recycling opportunities for the community.”
McBride and other Club members are also able to work at the store—sorting, cleaning and preparing donations, pricing items, processing donations on the loading dock and working as cashiers. It’s been a valuable learning experience for years, but the small space has proven a challenge.
“Right now, we tend to stumble over each other,” said Jeanni Gossard, store manager.
Staff hopes to make the move at the beginning of the summer in order to open the doors before the Central States Fair in August. The building is set on four acres, which means potential to expand into an even larger store in the future should there be a need, Bader said.
Gossard said she’s not worried about the transition in to a new building. It was just a couple years ago that the store closed its doors to repaint the inside of the building. It took only three days to move everything back in and get back to business.
“We’ve been working on this for some time. It’s finally a dream come true,” she said.
|Old space||New space|
|7,000 square feet on a quarter of a city block||14,400 square feet on 4 acres|
|29 parking spaces||130 parking spaces|
|3244 square feet processing and storage||6400 square feet processing and storage|