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Thornton Teen Center Open House Tonight
Updated February 10, 2015 6:35 AM | Filed under: Event
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(BEDFORD) - The Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence County is hosting a grand opening of the Thornton Teen Center tonight.

"We are very excited about this," says Chief Professional Officer Kyle Brown. "A number of community volunteers have stepped up to make this possible. "

The new facility located in the former Boys Club, at 1830 16th St., will serve middle-school and high-school-aged teens.

"The former Boys Club facility has a long-history here in Lawrence County and were able to incorporate that history into the new Teen Center," Brown added. "It is very impressive."

The open house will be from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. tonight.

"As much as I want adults to attend, I'd love to see the place filled with teens," Brown added. "This facility is for them."
There will be tours, refreshments and an opportunity to win several door prizes including a XBox 360 game system, annual Thornton Pool pass, $25 Game World gift card, $25 Circle K gift card and a $25 King Pins Bowl gift card.

The Teen Center has been remodeled and is fully equipped with wide-screen television in the lounge room, a recreational area equipped with pool, ping pong and foosball tables; a room for students to receive help with their homework and hold special classes, and basketball and volleyball courts. There is also a new Tech Cafe which includes Wi-Fi.

The Teen Center was possible through a $50,000 grant from Lowe's.

"Lowe's partnered with Boys & Girls Club of America to offer $1 million in grants to clubs across the nation," says Brown. "We were one of 20 clubs in the nation and the only one in Indiana to receive the grant."

But the grant didn't cover the cost of labor, so club volunteers, staff and board members stepped in to get the work done.

"The Teen Center was driven by a lot of determined people," Brown says. "It took a lot of hours hard work and individuals with a lot of determination to complete this project. It is fantastic and very impressive."

The focus of the new center will be teens.

"Our primary membership is kids grades K-5, we didn't have much to offer the teens," Brown added. "We needed a safe place where they could come together in a social setting. Bedford has never had that. There was just no where for them to go."

Teens will have to join the organization.

"We are a member organization and teens will have to be members and adhere to rules," Brown says. "It will be tightly managed. We want to see these teens build relationships, help them academically, push them to be the best they can be."

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