SALVATION ARMY TEEN CENTER GRAND OPENING!
MIDDLETOWN - A grand party is scheduled for downtown on May 5th. The Middletown Salvation Army, located at 515 Main Street, is rolling out their heavy hitters - representatives from the Liberty Bank Foundation, local politicians, local agency leaders, and local Salvation Army donors to celebrate the "official opening" of their new Teen Center. The center started operating a few weeks ago, but the "official grand opening celebration" is scheduled for Thursday May 5th between 4:00 and 6:00 PM. Twenty to twenty-five kids are already attending on Thursdays and Fridays when the center is operating. Over 100 different kids have attended and participated in activities or just come to socialize with their friends since the center un-officially opened in March.
Salvation Army Majors Rick and Bethany Starkey have had the Teen Center concept in mind since they arrived in Town in 2007. Major Rick Starkey said, "We saw the potential and we heard about the need soon after arriving here. Community leaders expressed the importance of having more activities for the high school kids in the neighborhood. We had this great space and the kids had this great need, this is what The Salvation Army does well - a real match made in heaven."
The kids have access to video games and computers. They can play table games - ping pong, pool, air hockey, and foosball. There will be an outdoor basketball hoop when the weather gets a little warmer. The teens can just hang out, socialize, or maybe even do their homework. Food is always a large part of any Salvation Army program and the Teen Center is no exception. "Teens love to eat, so we feed them," said Major Starkey. "We always serve them something. Maybe it's sandwiches, hotdogs, or pizza, but so far I haven't had any complaints! We hope to expand the dinner portion of the center when the program starts up again in September with the start of the new school year."
The Army provides a safe environment, but there are a few rules. There is always adult supervision and the Army is always looking for additional adult volunteers. The kids are asked to sign in and to sign out, but basically they are free to participate in whatever activities they like. The center operates Thursdays from 3 P.M. to 8 P.M. and Fridays 4 P.M. till 9 P.M.
For more information about the Teen Center or the "grand opening celebration" contact: Salvation Army Middletown Corps Officer Major Rick Starkey at 860 347-7493 email: firstname.lastname@example.org