Saranac Lake Youth Center could use your support

To the editor:

The Saranac Lake Youth Center was started by the Ecumenical Council in 1982 and has served local teens of the school district for 35 years. The bright, spacious center on the corner of Woodruff and Church streets sees a daily rush of youth as soon as school is dismissed. When they arrive, they get to indulge in a free, healthy snack so important to growing minds and bodies. They sign in and are free to come and go, but most stay for hours. With the leadership of Director Aleacia Landon, along with assistant Jenny Curtis, new activities and projects are always in the works. Lately, local game developer Eric Foster has been market-testing board game prototypes with the teens. Pool tables, ping-pong, air hockey, computers, video games, arts and crafts are some of the center’s amenities that the teens enjoy together. As the kids say, the youth center means friendship, acceptance, safety, home.

The Saranac Lake Youth Center is truly a jewel in the village, and it could not exist without the support of the entire community. With marked decrease in state/county funds over the past decade, there is increased stress to procure adequate financing. There are minimal funds to use for special programming, and the director must work her magic on a part-time salary. We are grateful to live in a community where civic organizations, churches, local governments, businesses and individuals come together to keep this service for our youth alive. There are many ways to support the youth center such as donations, volunteering or sharing your special skill with the kids. Carnival Queen Anita Meserole has volunteered weekly at the center for many years.

Peggy Wiltberger

Saranac Lake