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Marshall-based Boys and Girls Club opens screen printing shop, finds lucrative revenue stream

Boys and Girls Clubs of the Big Pines

The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Big Pines, based in Marshall, is taking a T-shirt screen printing project to a new level. The club purchased two ovens and four multi-color screen printing machines this month from a former shop in Marshall.

Executive director Bryan Partee says it will allow the club to create a steady source of income while the teenagers learn how to run a business from the ground up. The club purchased one machine in 2014 and Partee says orders flowed in from Boys and Girls Clubs around the country last year. To date, students have helped print about 50,000 T-shirts from orders in 17 states.

“If we can give a kid this opportunity and they turn out to love it and they’re going to be the next great T-shirt printer, cool. Because if you have a good, thriving business you could make enough money to pay for college or make a living,” Partee said, who added the club’s board voted unanimously to purchase the equipment from East Texas Sports Center in downtown Marshall. “I know how much we’re getting and if we keep growing it’s going to be wonderful for our club.”

Partee estimates last year’s T-shirt printing net $75,000 for the club, but the final auditing isn’t finished. He says with the new equipment the club can handle many more jobs.

He’s leaning on a screen printing veteran who has taught classes to kids on how it’s done. Bill Beene has been a screen printer since the 1970s, and now he’s working with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Big Pines to teach the process and help out the organization that provides services to about 3,000 children.

“The Boys and Girls Club has bought the big Sprint room that I used to work for for 20 years and we’re going to try to make it into a big business where we run a whole lot of shirts through here and make the Boys and Girls Club a whole lot of money,” Beene said.

Partee says the teens are paid on a per-order basis and they earn roughly $15 per hour. The club created a website for their business and Partee says orders are flowing in by word of mouth.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.
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