LANCASTER, N.Y. (WIVB) - The Boys and Girls Club in Depew provides a safe place for more than a hundred children each day. But a massive fire has changed that and now the Boys and Girls Club in Lancaster is lending a helping hand.
Around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, the buses rolled up outside the Lancaster location. It was clear the kids couldn't make what to think of the change in venue at first, but after getting inside things gained an air of normalcy.
Collin Coburn said, "I was kind of nervous because I'm usually not here (Lancaster location) and I'm usually there (Depew location) because I know a lot more kids there."
But for not, kids will have to use the Lancaster location because a fire heavily damaged the Depew club, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.
PHOTO GALLERY | See images from the fire here
Jordan Rutkowski said, "It felt really different. The Depew Boys and Girls Club was like our home, it was all like family. They were all like family to us."Lancaster Director Dave Lewandowski says his facility is able to accommodate the children who have come to depend on the club.
"It's just devastating for the kids now because I was thinking back to when I was that age what I would do if it wasn't there. I lived a couple blocks away. These kids... they have no place to go right now. It's heartbreaking for them," he said.
In the meantime, as the club assesses its options, there has been an outpouring of support from the community.
Jeff Kupka of the Depew Boys and Girls Club said, "We're waiting for building inspectors, we're waiting for insurance adjusters. I'm kind of hoping, my personal dream and goal, is some of it's salvageable and that between donations and insurance money we can get it back up and going."
Though the club does offer activities for youngsters, for many it's much more than that.
"It's not a building, it's an institution, it's a fraternity, it's a family. And if you're not part of it, I guess you just don't understand it," Kupka said.
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