With the ribbon-cutting now behind them, the future direction of activities at The Club will be heavily based upon input from Cochrane teens.
The barrier-free club for Cochrane teens ages 13 to 17 opened its doors on Monday and by Wednesday 40 had already been there checking out the new digs at 204-5th Ave.
"This was their vision and you made this happen for them and that's the most important part of this," youth program coordinator Nola Hume told the crowd at the Jan. 24 ribbon-cutting celebration for sponsors and supporters."They (the teens) will continue to have a big say in what we do. So as far as our programming and anything that happens here, it's going to come from them, it's not going to be us saying what they need to do. They will let us know what they need and we want to help them get there."
It was an emotion-filled evening for some who have seen the project come together in a relatively short period of time. The Club has everything from video games, big screen TV, DJ mixer and guides to a room for a little quiet time or to complete homework. There's also support available from the trained staff.
"It's amazing to see everybody who came out to show their support.," says club executive director Jill Bilodeau. "The community now knows what we're doing, what we're here for. They can now visualize it and physically see it."
A loud round of applause was given to contractor Rob Tegart, of Four Leaf, and his crew for not only their craftsmanship but for also contributing financially to make it possible for the doors to open.
Theresa Lorincz-McRae, Club Support Manager for the western region of Boys and Girls Club of Canada, is impressed with what has been accomplished.
"This is a really wonderful thing for the community," she says. "I'm very proud they were able to accomplish this in such a short period of time."
Lorincz-McRae, who has been working with teens for 25 years, says this is exactly the type of space teens seek.
"What we find is that by the time youth get to about the age of 13 they don't want to really be associated with boys and girls, They want their own space. So the organizations that have that vision to provide this for them are much further along in serving that demographic."
The Club Opens its Doors to Give Teenagers Their Own Space