Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Boys and Girls Club swimming pool makes a splash

Published 1:28 pm Wednesday, June 22, 2022

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Prepared to cut the ribbon. Front Row: Mac Bryson, Nyota Tucker, Tammi Pettyjohn-Jones, Dawn Ostrander, Dan Ostrander, Tim Wofford, Crystal Perry, Marvin Laster, Amber Batchelor
Back row: LaShonda Kitchens, Daniel Vanoteghem, Sheriff Eric Bryant, Nigel Poole, Buck Kenny

Plains June 15, 2022 kids were gathered inside the gates of the Boys and Girls Club pool ready to make a splash. Just outside the fence a crowd, including President and Mrs. Carter, were gathered to celebrate the Sumter County Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting for the newly remodeled pool. The pool is part of the entire remodel and refreshing of the Plains facility and included work such as; a new roof, new cool decking, paint, tree removal and a complete redo of the locker room.  Marvin Laster, the outgoing CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Albany shared the story of a call he received in 2018 from Mrs. Peggy with the Carter Center wanting to know if he had the availability to meet with President and Mrs. Carter in their home that day. Laster smiled and said, “I didn’t care what I had on my calendar, as many of you would, I figured that was an honor and of course I was there.” In that meeting, President and Mrs. Carter made it very clear how important this club was to them and the Plains community.  The club was officially endowed earlier this year to ensure that it will always be in Plains.

President and Mrs. Carter also wanted the pool, after 10 years of being non-operational, to be redone and fully operational. An additional donation of over $250,000 from the Carter Center and other funding resources allowed the Boys and Girls Clubs of Albany to make the necessary renovations needed to get the pool operational.


Ostrander Charitable Remainder Trust presents a check for $500,000 to the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Boys & Girls Club. Left to right: Tim Wofford Incoming CEO of Boys & Girls Club, Dan Ostrander, Dawn Ostrander, Mack Bryson and Marvin Laster outgoing CEO of Boys & Girls Club

Laster then introduced Dan Ostrander, a longtime friend and supporter of President Carter who flew in from Reno Nevada with his wife, Dawn to be attend the event.  Ostrander said, “A couple years ago, President Carter asked myself and a couple of my friends to help raise the 2.2-million-dollar goal to fund the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Boys and Girls Club.  Ostrander talked about the importance of a Boys and Girls Club stating, “Standing next to me is a prime example, Marvin (Laster) joined at 8 years old now he is a CEO at 45, that shows the difference it makes it children’s lives.”  Ostrander then said, “I’ve known the president for over 30 years and on numerous occasions he paid me a huge compliment and told me I was his favorite republican.  I told them, “You guys are my favorite Democrats, and I love you both”.” He went on to say, “This is a very important legacy for the Carters as it will continue to improve the quality of life for Plains residents.  We thank you, President and Mrs. Carter for everything that you have done all these years. Thank you”

Mr. and Mrs. Ostrander then presented a check for $500,000 to the Jimmy and Rosalynn Boys and Girls Club.  A gift Laster stated, “is the second largest gift our organization has ever received from an individual”.  This gift will go to support the work done at the club.

Laster then recognized the City of Plains, Mayor Bozeman, The counselor Fuller and all the other counselors, Sumter County Board of Commissioners, Sheriff Eric D. Bryant, Tammye Pettyjohn-Jones, Nigel Poole, Buck Kenney, Kim Fuller, and the Boys and Girls Club of Albany Board of Directors. He also took a moment to thank Sammy Smith of S&S Concrete and his team for doing an outstanding job renovating and RCL Environment for their work to get the pool redone.

The crowd then gathered to cut the ribbon and celebrate this team effort to restore this club and give Plains something to be proud of for generations to come.

Want to donate to Boys and Girls Clubs?  Visit www.bgcalbany.org/ways-to-give  where you can donate by check or phone (229)439-0196 or by mail to Boys & Girls Clubs of Albany P.O. Box 1130, Albany, Ga. 31702. You can also set up to give monthly or have a portion of your Amazon eligible purchases become a donation to Boys & Girls Club of Albany with the links provided on their website.

Want to volunteer?  If you can contribute an hour or more per week, consider joining their volunteer team. Serving at a Club presents an opportunity to make an impact and effect positive change in the lives of young people. Continue reading to learn more about our volunteer program. For more information, please contact kdicks@bgcalbany.org.