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Russell Haythorn, 7NEWS Reporter – POSTED: 10:01 am MDT August 20, 2009; UPDATED: 10:27 am MDT August 20, 2009

GREELEY, Colo. — They have twice as many kids as this time last year and yet with donations on the decline, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Weld County are finding ways to make it work.

Chief Professional Officer Greg Kimbrough said his organization has seen a 100 percent increase in the average daily attendance since this time last summer.

“We definitely have to be smart about our money,” said Kimbrough. The challenge for this non-profit is finding a way to beat the odds: a steep rise in the need for its services, coupled with a sharp decline in donations.

“‘Is it lights out for some programs if the money’s not there?’ asked 7NEWS reporter Russell Haythorn.

You know, sadly, it will be for organizations without enough sustainability in their forecasts,” said Kimbrough.

One bright spot for the Weld County Boys and Girls Club – a group of young men, ages 20-39, called Northern Colorado Active 20/30. The group is a fundraising arm for at-risk and disadvantaged youth.

“We come together just as a group of guys who want to give back to the community,” said president of NoCo Active 20/30 Aaron Eide.

And they have. The group’s signature event is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 28. It’s called the Suitcase Party, and it invites ticket buyers to come with their suitcases packed.

“With the opportunity to leave that night on a private jet for a weekend in California’s Napa Valley for wine tasting,” said Eide. The event raised tens of thousands last year for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Weld and Larmier counties.

“It’s a blessing that we could never even think of,” said Kimbrough. “It basically covered a shortfall last year because other fundraising efforts came up short.”

For more information on the Suitcase Party, click here.

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