Manitowoc County Boys & Girls Club names new executive director as plans move forward

Manitowoc County Boys & Girls Club names new executive director as plans move forward

Patti Zarling, Manitowoc Herald Times ReporterPublished 2:54 p.m. CT Sept. 27, 20190:580:59

MANITOWOC – William Bertsche has been named executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Manitowoc County.

His first day will be Tuesday. Bertsche’s immediate mission will be to help secure resources and develop programming, according to a news release from the Boys & Girls of Manitowoc County board. Bertsche worked in education for 31 years and served as an elementary school administrator for the Manitowoc School District for 20 years. He also serves on the YMCA board, he’s a member of the Healthiest Manitowoc County team and he’s a youth sports coach.

“I’ve always been a big advocate of programming outside of school for kids,” Bertsche said. “There’s a lot of great things going on in Manitowoc, but we need more.”

As poverty and trauma issues rise in the community, so does the need for supportive services, he said. Manitowoc is the only community with more than 10,000 residents in Wisconsin without a Boys & Girls Club.

These clubs are open to kids ages 6 to 18. Membership is $50 a year and is waived for families who can’t afford the cost.

Clubs provide safe after-school environments that focus on helping members reach their full potential.

William P. Bertsche

William P. Bertsche (Photo: Provided)

They also provide meals or snacks to kids from low-income families and an alternative to child-care services. The programs are structured, and staff is composed of trained professionals.

New clubs must be mentored by established sites to ensure they are set up and maintained according to nationwide standards. Manitowoc organizers have partnered with the Appleton Boys & Girls Club.

Bertsche plans to spend time learning more about the operations of the club and has already visited the Fox Valley site.

“There is a lot of potential to bring things to the kids and families of Manitowoc County,” he said. “We have to build some momentum and I’m eager to get started.”

Organizers are looking for a site and raising funds for the new club, but are confident in its future success. Board members are pleased to bring Bertsche on board.

“We know the children in our community will receive top-notch programming including career development, education, sports and recreation, and character and leadership development with Bill as our director,” said Amy Townsend, co-chairwoman of the club’s board.