AFES program warrants support

For the past nine years, Athletics For Education and Success has worked to fulfill the mission of providing safe and affordable recreational and extracurricular activities while focusing on the importance of character, education, and living a positive lifestyle. AFES presently serves around 100 children in the afterschool program, and averages 180 participants during the summer months.

In September 2011, the program moved into a permanent home: the former Hillcrest Elementary School at 712 Third St. N.W.

Though the facility meets most of the needs of the organization, there is one glaring deficiency: gymnasium space.

On Sunday, the AFES organization offered a look at its latest undertaking, Project Slam, a fundraising effort to build a new multipurpose/gymnasium area to the north of the existing facilities

Ann Halbur, capital campaign chairman for Project Slam, said Sunday the project will cost the organization around $400,000. She said local supporters have pledged nearly $200,000 in matching funds.

AFES’ commitment to providing life skills and character building is of great importance to the Fort Dodge community, in which the organization plays a vital role.

The Messenger urges strong support for Project Slam. We hope the community steps up to back this worthwhile endeavor.

And, for those of you who missed out on Sunday’s chance to see AFES in action, another open house will be held Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m.