The mood was somber at the Kilgore Boys & Girls Club’s board meeting this week.

“We were actually looking at running a deficit until the next fundraiser we have,” recounted board member Pam DeCeault.

She had a surprise, however, one six years in the making: a $20,000 donation from the former Gregg Home for the Aged as the remnants of its funds are carefully dispersed to a handful of local charities.

“I had sort of kept the donation under wraps for a couple of days,” DeCeault said, revealing it to the other BGC board members Monday. “It was a pleasant surprise for all involved.”

In addition to the youth outreach, the distribution of the former nonprofit’s remaining funding benefits a second Kilgore charity: Helping Hands was also granted $20,000. Other benefiting nonprofits in the area include Family Promise, Hiway 80 Rescue Mission, East Texas Alzheimer’s Alliance, Wiseman Ministries (House of Disciples) and Graciously Broken Ministries.

Jerry Camp is in his final stretch as treasurer for the Gregg Home board, working with its remaining volunteers to officially close the books on the nonprofit.

“When you’re a 501(c)3 and you close you have to distribute the money to other 501(c)3 charities,” he noted. “Since we sold to Arbor Grace six years ago, we had to wait so-many years to make sure people didn’t have a claim against the home itself.

After waiting the requisite time, “Now we’re in the process of dispersing all the funds. We’re trying to just get rid of all the money and close this thing. Hopefully we will have it all closed out before the end of the year.”

In years past, Camp added, Gregg Home for the Aged was one of only a few nursing homes that were registered nonprofits. As time went on, considering the necessary regulations, it wasn’t a feasible prospect anymore.

“The economy of running a nursing home had gotten so big, with a volunteer board we couldn’t keep it going. We needed a business to take it on.”

Six years later, he’s glad something good can come from the operation’s demise. Especially, Camp added, in providing much-needed assistance to Helping Hands on Martin Street and the local Boys & Girls Club on Harris.

“Since it was a Gregg County nursing home, not owned by the county government but servicing the county, we wanted to do the most good,” he said. “Based on what everybody said, it couldn’t have come at a better time. We’re happy to be able to help them. Summertime is when all charities’ giving goes way down.”

It’s definitely a well-timed windfall, DeCeault said.

“We got that check and it was truly manna from Heaven. It allows us to continue operating in the black until our next fundraiser.”

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