Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad  Print this page

Hay River youth centre re-opens

Paul Bickford
Northern News Services

Hay River (Mar 20/06) - The Hay River Community Youth Centre has come back to life.

The centre re-opened March 14 after closing on Oct. 31 because of financial difficulties. It's now open to kids aged 13-18 from Tuesday to Saturday.

About 35 young people showed up for the re-opening, which was celebrated with a special "Welcome Back" cake.

"It's significant for them to know we're back in the game," said centre co-ordinator Kevin Wallington.

The youth are happy to see the centre open its doors.

"It's so good to have this place open and have everyone come back," said Krissy Colosimo, 15.

She said there was nowhere else for young people to go, especially when it was really cold outside.

Some youths would hang out at the arena, she noted.

"It wasn't really fun to watch oldtimers play hockey," said Colosimo.

Garry Power, 17, spent several days helping Wallington get the centre ready for re-opening. They repaired a couch, waxed the floor, fixed a broken leg on a pool table and did some painting.

Power said the centre is important because that's where young people like to hang out.

"Plus the person who runs it is cool," he said.

Tahnee Beaulieu, 16, also welcomes the centre's return.

"I like it because it's a place to go and you're not freezing outside," she said.

Wallington said the centre is two-thirds of the way to acquiring about $80,000 needed to operate this year.

The co-ordinator is confident that goal will be reached.

There are still some funding proposals pending with government, and the centre is looking for more help from community service clubs and businesses.

Wallington noted the fact the centre was not open was an issue with some potential supporters, and the re-opening should help attract more funding.