Community needs to help our youth

To the editor:

We as a community have been blessed to receive $10 million for our community. Some of that money should go toward our children, the future of Saranac Lake.

I am very concerned about the children in our community. We as a community need to focus more energy and commitment for our children’s well-being. Our local police and law enforcement have done an outstanding job to help combat the drug and alcohol problem, but they need the help of our community. With the help of parents, seniors, schools, local businesses, town officials and our local police, we can work together to develop a better environment for our children. Too often I hear kids say there is nothing to do, which leads to trouble. (I do realize we do have some activities out there for children, but we need more.)

This past summer I spent a lot of time at my parents’ home in Clayton. What I saw was amazing. All the ballfields were full throughout the summer. They have a large youth center and swimming pool. They also have a youth commission and youth theater group.

I would like to organize a Saranac Lake Youth Commission. A website would be developed which would list our activities and events. Youth activities that are already available could be added to our website. The ideas will increase as time goes by. We would have a board of directors for the adults, and another board of directors run by high school kids. We would also have various committee leaders. Of course I would also like to see a larger youth center for our kids.

Some of my ideas are year-round sports: baseball, soccer, etc. Also, hiking club, kayaking, fishing, golf club, youth theater group with summer presentations, skating rink at Petrova, chess club, knitting, crafts, field trips, summer camps, themed high school and middle school dances. There could be a youth garden, from which they can then have a farmers market to help support the youth commission, and a bowling league. These are just some ideas.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a larger youth center with basketball hoops, foosball, ping-pong, video games, fitness area and lounge?

I would also like to see our village set aside some of the $10 million grant to benefit our children. Remember this: Beauty is what’s in the heart, as beauty is what’s inside our town. If you are also concerned and wish to help form a committee to get this started, please email me at, and I will keep you informed when we can start our first meeting. Come on, parents, let’s help our kids thrive in our community.

Steven J. Pridell

Saranac Lake