Boys and Girls Club ‘Powers’ up at Jam
by SARALYN NORKUS Banner Sports Writer
Aug 03, 2014 | 630 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Boys and Girls Club

SIX-YEAR OLD CADE SMITH entertains the crowd with his ukulele skills at the Ocoee River Jams, Saturday. Cade, who also plays acoustic guitar, will be a first grader at Oak Grove Elementary School this year. Banner photo, SARALYN NORKUS
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OCOEE — This year’s Ocoee River Jam held extra special meaning to the Boys and Girls Club’s Powers Unit.

Currently, Unit Director Brian Lessig and Montessori Kinder International School owner Brigitta Hoeferle are on a mission to build a DreamCourt at the Lay Street location.

The DreamCourt program was the brain child of Nancy Lieberman or, as she is better known in the basketball realm, “Lady Magic.”

Lieberman was the first female basketball hall-of-famer and began the Nancy Lieberman Foundation to help better the lives of children living in disadvantaged areas.

After hearing about a DreamCourt that had been established at a Nashville Boys and Girls Club, Hoeferle decided that one of Cleveland’s Boys and Girls Clubs could benefit from a DreamCourt as well.

“I am in collaboration with a company called WorldVentures, which is a relationship marketing company. Nancy Lieberman and WorldVentures have been collaborating and putting these DreamCourts all around the United States,” Hoeferle explained. “Nancy’s mission with her foundation is to give children from distressed areas an opportunity to get off the streets.”

After talking to Lessig and Housing Authority Director Paul Dellinger, Hoeferle discovered that her idea was right on track with what was needed at the Powers Unit.

“It takes a collaboration of everyone to make a difference in our world,” Hoeferle proclaimed. “We started fundraising and sitting down with the Boys and Girls Club and HUD to figure out how to make this work. Of course, you need the funds first before you can start anything.”

The total required to build the Lay Street DreamCourt comes out to $32,000.

Two and a half years later, thanks to fundraisers such as the Maifest and the Ocoee River Jam, the group is nearly halfway to its goal.

“I’m excited with what is happening here and what we’re doing with the DreamCourt. We’ve already raised $15,000,” Hoeferle declared.

Besides building the basketball court, the group also hopes to add a playground and picnic area.

“I think this will make a big difference in the Lay Street community,” Hoeferle commented.

While the timeline depends on how quickly funds can be raised, Hoeferle is hopeful that construction will begin within a year.

Donations may be made online at https://impact.wvfoundation.org/fundraise?fcid=241013. A charitable donation receipt is available as well when donating online.