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About Us

About Us

As a subsidiary of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Greater West Plains Area currently operates out of 3 sites: West Plains - our main headquarters - Thayer Elementary School, and during the school year, Richards Elementary School, which is absorbed into the West Plains site over the summer. Our mission is to inspire and enable all youth, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

Our History

Boys & Girls Clubs of America started as a small Club in 1860 as a way to help at-risk boys. A cause was born. In 1906, Clubs across the country united under one banner. Girls later became an extension of the organization's mission.

Our local chapter came as a goal in 2012, and began with fundraising by our generous founders and the assembly of our first Board of Directors. By May of 2013, we opened our West Plains location, under the direction of our first Executive Director, Dakota Crow. In 2016, the BGCWP expanded to set up a branch in Thayer. Together we have served thousands of young people and we continue to serve hundreds of kids each year.

Our Staff

Our amazing staff make running our sites possible. Most of our staff members are Youth Development Professionals or YDPs. They work in the classrooms each day to ensure the safety, edification and enjoyment of our Club Members. Others keep our facilities clean, prepare meals, run our front office, and complete many other tasks. We pride ourselves on being a consistent community employer. For the privacy of our workers, only the management team are listed here.

Elisabeth C. Cawthon - Executive Director

Elisabeth earned her Bachelor’s Degree in psychology with an emphasis on Child & Adolescent Psychology. She has been with the Club since 2017, starting as a Youth Development Professional, serving in various roles and eventually working her way to Executive Director.  She invests in the community by volunteering with various organizations. Elisabeth looks forward to this opportunity to serve both the community and Club in her new position.

Elisabeth can be reached at [email protected].


Miranda Allen - Operations and Finance Director

Miranda is the longest working employee at BGCWP. She has been with the Boys & Girls Club since 2014. She started her career with the Club as a Youth Development Professional; she continued on to become the Glenwood Site Coordinator, Membership Director, and currently works as the Director of Operations & Finance. She enjoys spending time with her husband, their dogs, and going to Broadway shows.

Miranda can be reached at [email protected]

Sylvia Biggers - Program Director

Sylvia is a passionate go-getter whose diligence shines in everything she does. She has been with the Club since January 2022, and started as a Youth Development Professional. With her hard work and dedication to the Club, she was quickly promoted to Administrative Assistant, then excelled to her position as Program Director. Sylvia loves the company of her husband and three fur children. She enjoys kayaking and making the world a brighter place for all children.

Sylvia can be reached at [email protected].

Donna Mainprize - Thayer Site Director

Donna is a born and raised Thayer native. She has been working for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Greater West Plains Area since 2016 in various capacities, lending a wealth of knowledge and experience to her current role as Site Director. Donna has an enormous heart for the Club and for our Club Members. She also works as a paraprofessional and librarian at Thayer High School. Donna is married with three amazing children and two perfect grandchildren so far.

Donna can be reached at [email protected]

BGCWP Board of Directors

Our Board is a dedicated group of community members who freely offer their resources and guidance to the Club - their experiences, Club service, connections, and financial contributions make our Club thrive. If you are interested in serving in a Board capacity, please email [email protected] and we will pass your information along to our Board. Open positions: Board President, Board Vice President, Board Secretary.

Taylor Smith

Board President

Leanne Albritton

Ashley Young

Board Treasurer

Richard Jones

Jared Underwood

Karen Eggert

Board Secretary

Brenda Smith

Bradley Jones

Safety Chair

Amber Tooley


Jeremiah George

Bethany Turner