What was a 1990s activities center and snack bar, where local youths loved to hang out is evolving and is now an official youth center dedicated to keeping at-risk youth out of trouble. Although the center is up and running, community help is needed.
The Marysville Youth and Civic Center, formerly known as the Allyn Scott Youth Center, was founded by Ken and Allyn Scott as Hot Dog Junction in 1998. It currently has a new name and management.
“The most challenging part of being at the center is returning it to it’s original vision,” said Peggy Smith, a center board member and specialist for Pathways Prevention Services. She is also the program and fundraiser director at the center where her responsibilities include providing curriculum that local youth will participate in.
“When the Scotts ran the center, Hot Dog Junction was here and everyday the center was full of our local youth. They knew they had a safe environment to come hang out and do their homework. There were so many programs and events that revolved around the youth,” Smith said.
Smith has been a part of the Yuba-Sutter community for 39 years. She said she recently joined the board at the center after attending a meeting where she fell in love with the center’s potential to be a great outlet for community youth, teens and young adults.
“It’s important that we provide youth with the tools necessary to keep them off the streets, out of prison, away from alcohol and drugs, and help them build a better foundation for their future,” Smith said.
The center provides the Yuba-Sutter community with educational and employment opportunities for youth, parenting workshops to help assist with tough conversations, entertainment, rental space for parties and conferences and more.
“The kids here have to have a place to go. Otherwise it’s too easy to get into mischief,” said Steve Meyer, vice president and site maintenance manager. He’s been attending the center for some 10 years as a part of their archery program and as a handy-man/volunteer before officially joining the board last year.
“This is a place for kids to have a positive influence while hanging out with their peers,” Meyer said.
Meyer and Smith agree there is work to be done.
“Our goals are to return it to a state-of-the-art community center. Right now it is in need of a lot of upgrades and repairs,” Smith said.
The center needs a new roof and floors and upgraded bathrooms and kitchen. They would also like to have a computer center where kids can go do their homework and have a more innovative game room.
“We have a long road in front of us and we can only do this with the help and generosity of our community,” Smith said .
The center is currently sustained by rentals of the facility and fundraisers. They will have an open house and spaghetti dinner June 29, and an indoor carnival July 13, to help raise money for the center.
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