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Champaign Boys & Girls Club Won’t Renew Exec. Director’s Contract

The board of directors at Champaign's Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club will let the contract for its executive director expire, and begin a national search for a new one.

Board President Toney Tomaso said there is nothing wrong with the relationship with current director Andre Arrington, but he added that he wants to bring 'new energy' to the organization. Tomaso wouldn't discuss specific aspects of the facility he wants to see improved, but he did say fundraising played a role in the board's decision. Tomaso said the Boys and Girls Club needs to get to a point where it can stand on its own two feet financially based on the community's support.

"So that we don't have repeats of what has happened in the past, where we're reaching out to the community, saying 'gee, there's a chance we could close our doors. Things are really tough right now," Tomaso said. "And they are, for all the non-for-profits around. But as a board, we told ourselves this is not a position we want to be in, nor do we want to continue screaming that to the community."

Tomaso said Arrington will remain on staff at least until his current contract expires on March 8th, unless he leaves before then to take another job. Tomaso said the two of them are friends, and they have a good relationship. He compares this search to what a university or professional sports team goes through when it's looking for new coach.

"Most places well tell you, 'there's nothing wrong with our current coach, but that person's been dismissed, we think the world of them, and we wish them well," Tomaso said. "In this case, we're doing that with Andre. We're just looking for somebody who's going to take us into the future, and get us over those difficult humps, from the standpoint of financial, programmatic, in order to make our future the brightest it can possibly be."

UPDATE: Arrington, who has been with the Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club for 10 years, says he's not upset, noting conversations regarding his future have been ongoing for a while.

Arrington says he he hasn't yet thought about his future.

"We haven't sat down and looked ahead that far," he said. "I've always been a person that worked the job that I have, and do the best I possibly can with the job that I have. I'm not the type of person to be looking at another job while I'm doing another (different) job."

Arrington says his greatest achievements include record numbers for fundraising, the number of children served, as well as expanded programs, including those in the STEM initiative, or science, technology, engineering, and math. Arrington hopes the facility's new leader continues to build on the legacy he's established. He will not be part of the national search for his replacement.

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